Dr Lalit S Kanodia is considered as the chief architect of India’s IT industry (often referred to as the father of the IT industry). He was a Team member of Project MAC at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where CTSS & MULTICS were built (the first two multi-user computer operating systems & pre-cursors to UNIX). He was appointed Founder CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in 1967 and, founded Datamatics in 1975 – the pioneering global Information Technology (IT) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) organization which introduced UNIX to India. He has the distinction of many firsts in the IT domain: established the first off-shore development center for Wang Labs (USA); was the first company to establish a satellite link for remote software development from its development center in India to AT & T Bell Labs in the USA. Datamatics was the first company to acquire a controlling stake in a listed US Data management company. It became the first IT Company in the world to acquire the PCMM Level V and was also among the first few companies to reach the SEI CMM Level V.
Dr Lalit’s family hails from Rajasthan, a princely state of India. He had a brilliant academic record. He completed his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (India) in 1963. Subsequently, he obtained an MBA and Ph.D., both from MIT, USA. He was a topper at MIT. Dr Lalit married Asha in 1965. When he came back to India, there was a unique opportunity waiting for him in the form of JRD Tata. Mr Tata had been contemplating to start a software company for the Tata Group, and it was perhaps in the scheme of things that he chanced upon Dr Lalit’s profile. JRD did not waste any time in asking Dr Lalit to start the same, which he did in 1967 named ‘Tata Computer Centre’. It was renamed as ‘Tata Consultancy Services,’ (TCS) in 1968, which has since become India’s largest IT company.
After having launched Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and successfully overseen its growth and operations (as it first CEO), Dr Lalit decided to set-up his own enterprise in due course. He founded ‘Datamatics,’ in 1975. Braving the odds, sticking to his vision, and believing in his own capabilities, as well as the immense potential that his countrymen possessed, Dr Lalit went about charting a path of success for Datamatics like only a handful of others have in all the history of entrepreneurship in India. Along the way, he pioneered many efforts that have not only shown the light for thousands of other aspirants in the following three decades but have also stood the test of time as the bench-marks for the Indian as well as the global IT Industry.
Dr Lalit is currently Chairman of the Datamatics Group of Companies, comprising of Datamatics Global Services Ltd, CIGNEX Datamatics Technologies Ltd, Lumina Datamatics Ltd, Datamatics Staffing Services Ltd and Datamatics Financial Services Ltd. He is currently also on the Executive Board of MIT (Europe, Asia and Africa).
Consolidated revenue of Datamatics has grown by 154% in 3 years between 2011 to 2014 and that translates into a YOY growth of 36%. Datamatics was awarded Fastest Growing Company Award at IAC Bangkok in Nov 2014. Datamatics has moved to Leadership
Category of Global Outsourcing 100® service providers list. It was awarded ESC Award for Most Innovative Software Product by Prime Minister of India. Datamatics is the only IT Company to have received the International Asia Pacific Quality Award in 2007 among 36 Pacific Countries that included US, Canada, Russia, Australia, Japan and others. Today, Datamatics has several offices in India, USA, Europe and Middle East with 7000+ employees.
Dr Lalit is a Ford Foundation Fellow. He received the first ever Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT, Bombay. He is one of the 10 persons included in the Hall of Fame, published by Dataquest along with our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and late JRD Tata. While in the US, he was a Consultant to the Ford Motor Company and Arthur D Little. He has also taught at Jamnalal Bajaj and MIT (1964-65). He has served at the Past President of the Management Consultants’ Association of India and Chairman of the Electronic & Computer Software Export Promotion Council (Western Region). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber and Chairman of its IT Committee. He is the past President of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (Western Region). He has been a Member of the Executive Committee of Nasscom. He also served on various Committees of the Government of India and the State of Maharashtra. He was the Honorary Consul of Chile in Mumbai (2002-2014).
True to being a visionary, Dr Lalit, has ensured that the CSR initiatives of Datamatics are molded in such a way that they have a long-lasting impact on the under-privileged communities. The company drives its CSR initiatives through a corporate body named ‘ASHA’. Towards its commitment to bring about a change in the critical areas, the company has identified Employability & Environment as the key focus areas.
He strives in his vision, mission and hopes for the future to play a part in restoring its former premier economic position in the world.