New Delhi, November 17 2013: India's pioneering -- and for many years, largest --computer manufacturing companyhasclosed down its hardware business after 37 years.In a reorganisation announced last week, HCL Infosystems(known originally as Hindustan Computers Ltd),says it hastransferred its Solutions, Services and Learning business to the wholly-owned subsidiariesHCLInfotech Ltd.,HCLServices Ltd, andHCLLearning Ltd, while the parent entity would restrict itself to PC distribution.
Harsh Chitale, CEO, HCL Infosystems is quoted inHindu Businessline saying: “Manufacturing of PC is becoming less and less a part of our business. It is not our focus for future at all.The hardware manufacturing story has definitely struggled and there is no cost and competitive advantage today in manufacturing hardware in our country.
Founded by a team of seven engineers from what was then DCM Data Systems ( including Ajai Chowdhry, Arjun Malhotra, Subhash Arora, Yogesh Vaidya, S Raman and D S Puri ) led by Shiv Nadar,the new company wasbriefly Microcomp, a seller of digital calculators, before it was renamed HCL in 1976. The companyhad a string offirsts in the difficult permit-licence era: theylaunched the first Indian desktopminicomputer the 8C in 1978,They offered Indian buyers the first PC in 1983 -- the HCL Workhorse --ahead of the IBM PC.They beat Sun Microsystems and HP tocreate a Unix minicomputer -- Magnum -- in 1988.
The company continued to manufacture or at least assemble PCs and laptops in India, keeping pace withdevelopmentsworldwide and was the first tojoin with Intel to offer Indian schoolsthe Classmate PC.Butwith new form factors like tablets and phablets making indigenous manufacture unviable, HCLs PCindustry contributed less than 8 percent of its turnover -- with servicesproving to be better business.
The company will continue to distributeglobal PC brands, butthe closure of its manufacturing business marksa sadmilestone in India's computer industry history.