A brilliant entrepreneur and visionary, Shiv Nadar is India’s IT pioneer who has that nagging sense of dissatisfaction- the same quality that drove him to achieve much more when he could have quite easily rested on his laurels.
Shiv Nadar is the founder and chairman of Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), India’s largest InfoTech Company. He is a native of Moolipozhi village in Tuticorn district of Tamil Nadu, he graduated from PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore. In Delhi he worked as an engineer at Delhi Cloth Mills.
His profession made him pursue his dream of having his own startup to manufacture computers in India, at a time when computers were just ‘sophisticated items’ and a cousin of old calculators.
The year 1977 saw the exit of many foreign businesses from India owing to the fact that the policies of then Government were not really conducive to their existence. In 1978, HCL developed India’s first indigenous micro- computer.
Mr. Nadar and his friends at HCL set up NIIT in 1981 to import high quality IT education in India.
In 1984, the Indian Government opened up the computer market and permitted import of technology. HCL grabbed the opportunity to launch its personal computers. Within two years, HCL became one of the largest IT companies in India.
In the beginning of 1991, HCL entered into partnership with HP (Hewlett-Packard) to form HCL HP limited. The association bore immediate results, with the profit of 202 million rupees.
Beyond PCs, HCL tied up with Nokia for distribution of cell phones and with Ericson for distribution of switches.
In 1997, HCL,which under stewardship of Mr. Nadar had already emerged as a multi- dimensional company, spun off HCL Technologies Limited to mark their entry into the global software space. Technology was opening up vistas in the software sector and HCL was again quick to grab the opportunity.
Mr.Nadar was very much focused on further expansion. However the revenue of the hardware sector began to decline, he thought about redesign HCL, major finance was needed. HCL made an Initial Public Offering which turned out to be a stupendous success.
HCL has been managing orders at India’s National Stock Exchange. In mid-90s, HCL automated NSE across 261 cities through a network of 3000 tiny satellites.
Today HCL sells more PCs in India than any other brand, runs Northern Ireland’s largest BPO operation and manages the network for Asia’s largest stock exchange network, apart from designing zero visibility landing systems to land the world’s most popular airplanes. And this it does across 31 countries and 505 points of presence in India.
Thirty-seven years after starting HCL, Mr. Nadar remains a visionary. The corporate restructuring he undertook over the years has resulted in several companies, each with a chosen professional head.
In 2008, Roshni Nadar, Mr. Nadar’s only child, took over as the Executive Director and CEO of HCL Corporation. She is an alumnus of the famous Kellogg School of Management.
The world caught up with Shiv Nadar’s vision of a networked future, and the results are shaking up enterprises, economies and government around the world.