Tata Consultancy Services launched as a division of Tata Sons on April 1, 1968, as a management and technology consultancy that would create demand for downstream computer services. FC Kohli, a brilliant technocrat, was brought in from the Tata Electric Companies as a General Manager to run this start up.
Acquired an ICL 1903 in 1970 that was originally imported by the Calcutta Electric Supply Company but had remained unused because the unions wouldn’t stand for it. However, as per the rules of the Government of India’s newly set up Department of Electronics, TCS had to commit to export twice the value of the imported computer over the next five years. This effectively oriented our view towards outside markets.
Started building software for common processes like financial accounting, share registry work, sales analysis, inter-bank reconciliation, provident fund accounting et al, and operating that software on behalf of customers.
Won the first overseas assignment from a middle-eastern power generation and distribution company for management consultancy services to organize their stores and build a computerized inventory control system.
Partnered with Burroughs to distribute and support its products in India as well as build software that would be exported to various Burroughs units and clients across the world.
Converted a hospital accounting system written in Burroughs Medium Systems COBOL to Burroughs Small Systems COBOL. At this point, TCS did not yet have a Burroughs computer on which to carry out the conversion. The team improvised by writing a ‘filter’ in assembly language on the ICL 1903 to parse the source code and convert it to the Small Systems version. This was the very first recorded instance of an offshore software delivery done out of India, 45 years ago, accomplished using automation!
Executed our very first project involving the full software development lifecycle when we built a financial accounting package for two building societies in the UK on behalf of Burroughs. A two-member team gathered the requirements onsite, while a six-member team wrote the code in Bombay. The young chartered accountant who wrote the specifications, S Mahalingam, went on to accomplish many more firsts at TCS over the next 38 years, and was CFO from 2004 to 2013.
Won our first independent software assignment from the Police Department of the City of Detroit.
Crossed the $1 Million mark in export revenues, winning us the top exporter award from the Engineering Export Promotion Council in 1976-77.
Set up our first sales office in New York, headed by S Ramadorai. One of our first major clients was the Institutional Group Information Corporation (IGIC).
FC Kohli’s farsighted vision for TCS is most evident in the creation of the Tata Research and Design Development Centre (TRDDC) in Pune, India, marking the start of our signature focus on computer-aided software engineering i.e. a structured, tool-driven approach to software development using process automation.
Created an end-to-end advanced system to manage customer relationships for the Western Trust and Savings Limited (WTSL). The scale and complexity of this 135 person-years project helped TCS gain experience in executing large projects, deep knowledge of the retail banking sector, and expertise in IBM Mainframe technology.
Built the Advanced Data Dictionary (ADDICT), a global repository of project information, with a vast and advanced nomenclature that gave users a holistic view of an entire project and processes.
Engaged with Swiss National Bank in the first and largest offshore project done out of our Delhi center. Until then, Bombay had been TCS’ only offshoring destination.
Launched the Falcon (Fast Access Local Computer Network), a result of TCS’ research into integrated heterogeneous computer networks, creating the first fault-tolerant, multi-user, multitasking Windows-type capability, ahead of commercial products that became industry leaders in later years.
Set up the IBM mainframe Center of Excellence in Madras. The next year, imported and installed an IBM 3090 mainframe here, making it the largest mainframe site in India for several years. This investment opened up the large IBM mainframe opportunity to TCS.
Launched Casepac, a computer aided software engineering tool, for IBM Mainframes.
Set up a specialized group, marking the beginning of the engineering services business after recognizing the opportunity created by the advent of CAD/CAM/CAE.
Made a foray into the packaged software market in India with the Masterkey suite consisting of Business Manager System (BMS), a multi-user software, designed for the new Unix-based minicomputers, a project management tool (PRISM), and a package for structuring oral and written communication (Thought Prompter).
Launched the Integrated Standard Banking System which automated branch banking functions and customer services. It was quickly adopted by many banks in India.
Signed a $10 million deal with the Swiss Securities Clearing Corporation (SEGA), the largest signed until then, to design, build, and implement the world’s first real-time domestic and cross border securities clearing and settlement system.
Migrated core life and pensions systems from a CDC Cyber mainframe to an IBM 3090 mainframe, with underlying data pertaining to 3 million policies for Sun Life Assurance. The project bagged a medal from the British Computer Society as an outstanding project done in the area of computers.
Launched a user friendly accounting software package called E.X. in India. Billed the ‘world’s friendliest business accounting software’, E.X. went on to become a market leader in India in subsequent years.
Entered into a joint venture with Swissair to set up the Airline Financial Support Services, to handle its revenue accounting operations. This was our first foray into the business process services market.
Set up the core trading platform for the newly created National Stock Exchange, which changed the way capital markets worked in India.
Launched the Network Custody System (NCS), a new product to meet regional clearing and custody functions, in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. The product went on to become a runaway hit, adopted by leading custodians and other market participants across the world.
After 22 years at the helm during which he built and shaped the company, F C Kohli stepped down from his executive role in 1996 and was named Vice Chairman. Subramanian Ramadorai, who had set up TCS’ operations in the US in 1979 and had subsequently become a Senior Vice President and Deputy COO, was formally named the CEO.
Set the record for the fastest implementation of a depository system anywhere in the word by building the core platform for the National Securities Depository Limited, the first electronic depository in India, in less than five months.
Participated significantly in the Y2K remediation opportunity, by pioneering the concept of a software factory. Used a highly automated approach by leveraging special tools developed for Y2K conversion, to minimize human intervention, and remediated about 700 million lines of code.
Launched Quartz, a world-class wholesale banking software, in collaboration with three Swiss banks. It was designed as a modern universal banking platform and catered to front, middle, and back office banking functions covering retail and private banking needs.
Achieved CMM level 5 status at two of our offshore development centers in Chennai, India.
Unveiled a new $2 Million global e-business development facility at Mumbai. We aggressively pursued the e-business opportunity, and grew it into a significant business over the next few years.
Won the largest banking software project in India, to implement a core banking solution at State Bank of India across 13,000 branches, including seven associate banks.
Set up the first European nearshore development center in Hungary to address regional demand from the same time zone. This and the 10 centers in the US, along with the large Cincinnati center opened in 2008, formed the core of what would eventually grow into the Global Network Delivery Model (GNDM™) consisting of over 140 centers across 19 countries.
Began operations in China with an office in Shanghai and inaugurated the first global development center in Uruguay, the first foray into both countries by an Indian company.
Signed the first $100 Million deal with GE Medical Systems, the largest single contract ever won by an Indian software services company till then.
Crossed the $1 Billion mark in annual revenue. Then-CEO S Ramadorai formally unveiled the vision statement, ‘Top 10 by 2010’. This goal was achieved before time in 2009, when TCS finally broke into the ranks of the top 10 global IT service-providers in terms of revenue, profitability, number of people and market capitalization.
Debuted at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange with an initial public offering (IPO) that was termed the largest in India at the time, by a private sector company. Priced at Rs. 850 per share of Rs. 1 at par, the IPO was oversubscribed 7.7 times, and listed on the NSE at Rs 1199, making it the third most valuable company in India then.
Launched the ‘Experience Certainty’ tagline.
Won a deal valued at $847 million (£486 Mn) to provide insurance back office transaction processing services to the UK-based Pearl Group.
Acquired Sydney-based Financial Network Services for approximately US$ 26 million and Chilean business process outsourcing company, Comicrom, for $23 million.
Introduced two new service lines, Remote Infrastructure Management and Business Process Outsourcing, marking the formal launch of our full services strategy.
Acquired Citigroup Global Services Ltd (the erstwhile eServe Ltd), the back office operations of Citigroup in India for $505 Million.
Reorganized ourselves into a predominantly verticalized, modular structure composed of about two dozen industry solutions units, each with end to end responsibility for a set of customers within an industry vertical, and owning its own profit & loss (P&L) account.
Signed a Rs 10 Billion deal with the Government of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, for the Passport Automation Project. Since then, we have opened and managed 77 Passport Seva Kendras (help centers) across India.
S Ramadorai, who led TCS for 13 years, and had grown its revenues from $140 Million to over $6 Billion, stepped down from his executive position, making way for N Chandrasekaran, then Chief Operating Officer, to take over as the CEO & MD.
Became the second largest player in the UK life and pensions third party administration market after signing megadeals with companies like Phoenix group, National Employment Savings Trust, and Friends Life.
Launched iON, a fully integrated cloud-based, pay-per-use platform for Small and Medium Businesses in India.
Formally used the term ‘Digital’ to describe a new crop of technologies that helped enterprises deliver a superior customer experience; launched a whole crop of new services and solutions leveraging mobile, social, cloud and big data analytics technologies.
Became the first software firm to be assessed at CMM Level 5 enterprise-wide in software services and development.
Crossed $10 Bn in revenue.
Acquired French IT services firm ALTI SA, one of the top five package implementers in France.
Launched a cognitive automation product, ignio™ that uses its large body of knowledge and contextual awareness to diagnose and autonomously fix problems that arise in complex enterprise IT environments, and continuously get better over time.
Then-CEO, N Chandrasekaran coined the term `Default is Digital’ to describe the ubiquity of the new Digital technologies and also came up with the Digital Reimagination framework that used the five digital forces to help enterprises to become smarter and deliver a superior customer experience.
Acquired Mitsubishi Corporation’s IT arm in Japan.
Opened Saudi Arabia’s first all-women BPO center in Riyadh, soon after which, women in TCS crossed 100,000.
Cloud Platforms (iON assessments, financial inclusion, HR, financial accounting, TAP™, procurement, and analytics) crossed the $100 Mn revenue mark.
Articulated “There are only legacy technologies, no legacy people”. Digital reskilling of the workforce at scale using the Digital Learning Platform that combines physical, virtual and experiential learning anywhere, anytime and on any device. Over 120,000 employees trained in the first year, resulting in 349,000 competencies acquired.
Opened Executive Briefing Center in Mumbai, India, and the Digital Reimagination Studio in Santa Clara, CA.
Tata Sons appointed Chandra as the Chairman of the Tata Group. The TCS Board appointed then-CFO Rajesh Gopinathan as the CEO and Managing Director, N Ganapathy Subramanian as COO and Executive Director and V Ramakrishnan as CFO. The transition was seamless, and subsequent changes to the organization and the launch of new Digital Transformation service practices – were incremental and evolutionary.
Unveiled the Business 4.0 thought leadership framework to help customers leverage digital technologies to further their growth and transformation agendas during the fourth industrial revolution.
Instituted the largest ever buyback in the history of the Indian capital markets, returning Rs 16,000 Cr ($2.4 Bn) to shareholders.
Signed three large, industry-defining digital transformation deals. In the largest ever deal signed by TCS, it partnered with Transamerica to replace their fragmented legacy core with a new, cloud-based digital one on the TCS BaNCS Insurance platform. The other two deals, with M&S and M&G Prudential in the United Kingdom, will leverage digital technologies to transform their operating models to adapt to a Business 4.0 world.
Ranked among the top three most valuable brands in the global IT services sector, and named the fastest growing IT services brand in an assessment done by Brand Finance. We are also ranked as the Top Employer globally by the Top Employer Institute, and among the Best Employers by Forbes.