By S Ramadorai
In order to develop a mindset of growth, one must experience challenges and struggles. Challenge is the core of the growth mindset; without it, one doesn’t get the opportunities to take risks, learn to fail, and figure out how to pick themselves up again.
This was a way of life for FC Kohli, as he groomed me and my colleagues during our early days at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). I still recall him always challengeing me by presenting me with different situations and new opportunities in my early days. This was something I learned from him and imbibed as I grew to build my teams at TCS later. I personally believe that the mark of a great teacher is one who inspires, motivates, and opens the mind to the endless possibilities of what one can achieve.
Read | F C Kohli, doyen of IT industry, fades into history
Kohli always wanted India to be part of the computer revolution that was beginning in the West. His electrical engineering degree and MIT training coupled with his voracious appetite for reading books on technology gave him the confidence to try new things in India and to create value.
He strongly advocated that India needed bright young people with a good education. He firmly believed in education for the masses and thus developed the Adult Literacy Program. He felt that multiple language competencies for the Indian IT industry would be a game-changer in the future. He always encouraged teachers/professors in Engineering colleges to upgrade their knowledge base, keeping pace with the changes technology was bringing to the industry. He believed that a graduate armed with the latest knowledge of the tech world would be more job-ready and deliver well at his job too.
He foresaw the boundless opportunity for India in technology services decades ago when the tech sector was almost non-existent in India. His leadership and passion were key to establishing India as a trusted quality partner for global corporations as he propagated the importance of technology adoption and stressed the importance of local language and the hardware industry in India.
While I have personally lost a friend, mentor, and guide, the nation has lost a legend.
(The writer is the former CEO of TCS and immediate successor of FC Kohli)