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Ajai Chowdhry
Ajai Chowdhry
Ajai Chowdhry
Born (1950-08-29) 29 August 1950 (age 73)
Alma materJabalpur Engineering College
Occupation(s)Founder, HCL, Chairman: National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT),Ranchi, IIIT -Naya Raipur
AwardsPadma Bhushan

Ajai Chowdhry (born 29 August 1950) is one of the six founding members of HCL (Hindustan Computers Limited).[1] He is currently the Chairman-Board of Governors at National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), Ranchi, International Institute of Information Technology, and Naya Raipur.

Early life and education

The parents of Ajai moved from Pakistan to India along with their six children, during the Partition of India. They arrived at a camp for refugees in Delhi. Later, in order to obtain the accession to the princely realms, Ajai's father took a work in Mount Abu

Ajai was born on August 29, 1950, in Mount Abu. The youngest of the seven siblings is Ajai. In 1955, his father joined Indian Administrative Service.

Ajai Chowdhry attended Christ Church School in Jabalpur for his formal education.[2] He completed his education in 1966. A Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics and Telecom) degree was awarded to him later. from Jabalpur Engineering College, in 1971. He also completed a programme for executives at the University of Michigan, in 1994. Ajai was also nominated by MeitY as India Semiconductor Mission's advisory board member. Chowdhry was a member of the Consultation Group focused on Science, Technology and Innovation by the Niti Aayog[3]


Beginning his career in 1972, Ajai Chowdhry worked with Delhi Cloth & General Mills (DCM) Data Products where he was a sales trainee, hired at a compensation of INR 600 per month in the electronics division.[4] In 1975, he quit his job to start his own company named "Micro comp".

In August 2009, the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT and the Government of India constituted the IT Task Force, under the leadership of Ajai Chowdhry[5] The task force warned that the import bill of electronics will be higher than that of oil - thus shaping the electronics policy of the country. [4]

Ajai Chowdhry was a member of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), which is an apex body providing advisory inputs for shaping government policy.[6]

Just Aspire

Ajai Chowdhry also authored a book titled Just Aspire in 2023 which talks about his own life and also reflects on the journey of India's IT and hardware industry. The book was published by Harper Business. [7][8]Scroll published an excerpt from the book, "As one of our later print ads proclaimed, “At HCL, there’s only one thing more important than brains. Guts.” We trained our sales team in transactional analysis techniques, which call for an assessment of, and adaptation to, the potential buyer. For instance, when you meet a professor, become a student."[9]

Awards and accolades


As an investor, Ajai is on board of Indian Angel Network and has invested in several start ups. He also serves as the chairman of FICCI Startup Committee.[4]


Ajai co-founded EPIC Foundation in 2021. The goal of the foundation was to focus on developing electronic products that could be of national importance. Ajay serves as the chairman of the foundation and has works with other expert global advisors.[4][20]

Personal life and family

Ajai was married in 1977 to Kunkun Chowdhry. He has two sons, Kunal and Akshay. [4]


  1. ^ "Speaker Profile : Ajai Chowdhary - London Speaker Bureau India". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  2. ^ ""MY DREAM Is To See India As A Top ELECTRONICS PRODUCT NATION"". Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  3. ^ a b Communications Today (10 March 2009). "Ajai Chowdhry". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e 42 44 46 48 My Story Ajai Chowdhry Founding Member Of HCL EFY Dec 22.
  5. ^ Task Force, Department of Information Technology (6 January 2010). "Report of Task Force to suggest measures to simulate the growth of IT, ITES, and Electronics Hardware manufacturing industry in India" (PDF). Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  6. ^ NMCC. "Ajai Chowdhry". Archived from the original on 17 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Book Review: 'Just Aspire' — Leading from the trenches". 8 May 2023. Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  8. ^ "Just Aspire". The Tribune.
  9. ^ Chowdhry, Ajai (26 April 2023). "HCL co-founder Ajai Chowdhry recalls in his memoir how the brand achieved success in its early days". Retrieved 27 May 2023.
  10. ^ CXOtoday (5 April 2011). "Ajai Chowdhry awarded Padma Bhushan". Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  11. ^ "CyberMedia ICT Awards: Ajai Chowdhry gets DQ Lifetime Achievement Award". DATAQUEST. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  12. ^ "IIT Roorkee's Honorary Doctorate for Ajai Chowdhry". Business Standard. 15 November 2010.
  13. ^ "Director Report". The Economic Times. June 2009.
  14. ^ "Ajai Chowdhry". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Ajai Chowdhry: Brief Biography". Reuters. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  16. ^ "AI is not just for engineers, managers need it too: IIIT-Naya Raipur chairperson Ajai Chowdhary". The Indian Express. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  17. ^ CII (May 2009). "CII Communiqué" (PDF). Confederation of Indian Industry.
  18. ^ USC (26 February 2011). "Panelists, USC Forum on Globalization and Innovation". University of Southern California. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  19. ^ World Economic Forum (5 May 2010). "Africa 2010 - Ajai Chowdhry". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012.
  20. ^ Gupta, O. M. (18 August 2022). "New Semiconductor Policy Is More Open And Attractive". TimesTech. Retrieved 21 January 2023.