"Kohli was the true pioneer of Indian IT. We have all followed in his footsteps. His contribution to the IT industry and thus to India is immeasurable," Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said in a statement.
TCS said after getting hired, the 1924-born Kohli pivoted to management consultancy initially and over the next two decades into software development. He was hired in 1951, fresh from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined Tata Electric.
Kohli, who was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan, had been working simultaneously with what was then called TCE and rose in designations along with the growth of the fledgeling company. He was made general manager of TCS in 1969, director-in-charge in 1974 and eventually the chief executive, a position he held till 1996.
Chandrasekaran said Kohli's enduring optimism and ability to make ambitious bets leaves a legacy, which has advanced our nation.
Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called the Peshawarborn and Lahore-educated Kohli as a visionary who made pioneering efforts to develop the IT industry in India.
Nasscom said Kohli foresaw an opportunity in technology for India and built TCS.
"His leadership and passion over the decades played a key role in helping establish India as a trusted and quality partner for global corporations, evangelise the importance of technology adoption for India, push for greater research in academic institutions, bring awareness on the importance of local language and hardware industry in India," the lobby grouping said.
Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh called him as the "Bhishmapitamaha of the Indian software industry" and said it was always educative to converse with him.
Chandrasekaran said Kohli led innovations in areas far-ranging from adult literacy, water purification, software engineering, software automation, complex-systems and cybernetics.
In January, Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy stunned all by touching the feet of Kohli at a felicitation event in the financial capital.
Accepting the felicitation, Kohli reminisced that TCS was started in 1969 and was forced to look overseas for clients because nobody knew computers locally. The journey to becoming a nation known for its prowess in systems has been a joy, Kohli had said.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.