Hindustan Computers Limited, also known as HCL Enterprise, is one of India's largest electronics, computing and information technology company. Based in Noida, near Delhi, the company comprises two publicly listed Indian companies, HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems.
HCL was founded in 1976 by Shiv Nadar, Ajai Chowdhry,Nikhil Dubey and four of their colleagues. HCL was focused on addressing the IT hardware market in India for the first two decades of its existence with some sporadic activity in the global market. In 1981, HCL seeded a company focused on addressing the computer training industry, NIIT, though it has currently divested its stake in the company. In 1991, HP took minority stake in the company (26%) and the company was known as HCL HP for the five years of the joint venture. On termination of the joint venture in 1996, HCL became an enterprise which comprises HCL Technologies (to address the global IT services market) and HCL Infosystems (to address the Indian and APAC IT hardware market). HCL has since then operated as a holding company.
Government policy shaped HCL, as was the case with all Indian companies of those eras. In 1977, due to the policies of Indian industries minister George Fernandes , global giants like IBM left India creating a major void in the computers industry (even Coca-Cola left India during this timeframe as it opposed those policies ). HCL designed and shipped microcomputers to address this gap (around the same time Apple Inc. introduced personal computers in USA). HCL had many more accomplishments in the next half decade like introducing 16 bit processor computer in 1981 and relational data based management system, networking operating system and client server architecture solutions by 1983. In the last days of Indira Gandhi government, a radical policy shift changed the landscape of the computer industry by permitting the import of technology. HCL utilized the opportunity to launch its first brand of personal computers - Busybee. By 1986, HCL became the largest IT company in India. When Manmohan Singh opened the Indian economy in 1991 as the Finance minister, HCL entered into a partnership with HP to form HCL HP Limited. HP picked up 26% stake in the company to leverage on HCL's sales and distribution channels to sell its products in India as well as utilize the R&D team of HCL to customize its products to the Indian environment. In 1994, HCL HP looked beyond PCs and tied up with Nokia for mobile phone distribution and Ericsson for telephone switch distribution.
HCL had always tried to address the global market and initially with mixed results. In 1979, the company set up a subsidiary in Singapore - Far East Computers focused on selling its computer products in the APAC region. In 1989, on the basis of a joint study with McKinsey, HCL ventured into the US computer market after roping in SCI as its manufacturing partner. HCL America was born, but in the words of the founder, "the project fell flat on its face". HCL had failed to follow a very crucial step necessary to enter the US market, the computers didn't get environmental clearances. By 1996, Nadar realized that fellow Indian companies, TCS, Wipro and Infosys, had successfully entered the global software services market. When the partnership of HCL and HP ended in 1996, HCL became an enterprise which comprises two companies listed in India, HCL Technologies (www.hcltech.com) and HCL Infosystems (www.hclinfosystems.com).HCL Technologies was created from the R&D division of erstwhile HCL HP and focused on providing third party engineering and software services to global companies while HCL Infosystems focused on manufacture and sale of computer hardware in the Indian market.
HCL Technologies is India’s fourth largest Indian IT Services companies, providing software-led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management services and BPO. Having made a foray into the global IT landscape in 1999 after its IPO, HCL Technologies focuses on Transformational Outsourcing, working with clients in areas that impact and re-define the core of their business. The company leverages an extensive global offshore infrastructure and its global network of offices in 16 countries to deliver solutions across select verticals including Financial Services, Retail & Consumer, Life Sciences Aerospace, Automotive, Semiconductors, Telecom and MPE (Media Publishing & Entertainment). For the quarter ending 31st December 2007, HCL Technologies, along with its subsidiaries had revenue (TTM) of US $ 1.6 billion and employed more than 47,000 professionals.
HCL Infosystems Ltd, a listed subsidiary of HCL, is an India-based hardware and systems integrator. It claims a presence in 170 locations and 300 service centres. Its manufacturing facilities are based in Chennai, Pondicherry and Uttarakhand .Its headquarters is in Noida.
HCL Peripherals (A Unit of HCL Infosystems Limited) Founded in the year 1983, has established itself as a leading manufacturer of computer peripherals in India, encompassing Display Products, Thin Client solutions, Information and Interactive Kiosks and a wide range of Networking products & Solutions. HCL Peripherals has two Manufacturing facilities, one in Pondicherry(Electronics) and the other in Chennai(Mechanical).The company has been accredited with ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001, TS 16949 and ISO 13485.