Chairman, HCL Infosystems
“People don’t have time to plan for new software and get it developed. That’s why we ready products and then customise them as per the requirements of an organisation”
One of the six founder members of the HCL group, Ajai Chowdhry took over the reins of HCL Infosystems, the flagship company of the group, as President and CEO in 1994 and has been its Chairman since November 1999. A great believer in the manufacturing potential of India, Ajai has relentlessly advocated the cause of manufacturing in India to industry bodies and the government.
In recognition of his visionary ability, Chowdhry was invited to be part of the IT Hardware Task Force set up by the Prime Minister of India, to give shape to the country’s IT strategy. In a chat with Shubhendu Parth, Managing Editor, eGov, Chowdhry explained why HCL Infosystems’ product-oriented approach to services would be a winning formula.
Services have become the larger component in your business, at 26 percent. What has been driving this transformation from a product company to a services company?
When we move from the hardware business, one major area we want to focus upon is system integration. Currently we are sitting at an order backlog of $1 billion and that’s a good position to be in. What we set out to do in system integration we have gone and done but there is still more needs to be done.
Today we are focusing on 12 areas of system integration. We have added literally one area every two years. We have decided we will add certain new areas like Oil and Gas, and travel and transportation.
We have been a product company since the day we started in the year 1976. A decade ago I got to know that we are probably the first company to produce a computer. I met somebody in Apple and then I realised that the date when they launched their first computer was two months after the date we launched ours. That first computer was all designed and manufactured in India