“When I left Jabalpur, the small town where I grew up, to pursue a career, I could not have dreamt that I would find myself at the vanguard of pathbreaking revolutions that would transform India.”
One of the six original co-founders of HCL, Ajai Chowdhry shares the inspiring story of how his dreams and aspirations propelled him from a small town to the forefront of pathbreaking revolutions that transformed India. “Ajai is a highly acknowledged leader, who has been the foremost evangelist for making India an Electronics Product Nation. This book is a must for all budding entrepreneurs, managers, and anyone who is aspiring to reach greater heights. Ajai has delivered a captivating account of his life’s journey, interspersed with important lessons for achieving success.”
Vinod Dham, father of the Pentium chip
ABOUT THE BOOK
Just Aspire is the story of a man from a sleepy town called Jabalpur who went on to become a co-founder of HCL, the Indian technology behemoth.
Padma Bhushan recipient, mentor to numerous startups, a lighthouse to countless entrepreneurs — Ajai Chowdhry has worn many hats. His life follows a fascinating trajectory, from small-town boy to international business leader. This biography is a collection of his favourite memories — snapshots in time that served as an inspiration in his own inspiring life. From his interactions with visionaries like Ray Kurzweil, Bill Gates, CK Prahalad, and leading HCL to be an IT powerhouse, Ajai has lived an interesting life.
A life built on aspiration and hardwork, here’s an inspirational memoir that will stay with readers for a long time. Author, Ajai Chowdhry, says, “This book is the result of a conversation I had with my grandson. One day, he asked me to tell him stories from my childhood, when I was his age. The anecdotes that I shared with him made me reflect on my life and the pivotal events that led me to where I am today. I decided that I wanted to share my experiences not only with my grandchildren, but with a wider audience. I wanted to inspire them to aspire to be whatever they want to be and to stress the importance of dreaming big. I strongly believe that everyone can achieve success, regardless of their background or circumstances. I hope that my book will instil a sense of hope and purpose in those who read it.” Executive Editor, Sachin Sharma, says, “Just Aspire is the story of dreams, aspirations, and achievements. Ajai proves that nothing is impossible if a group of likeminded individuals come together and dare to aspire. In his parlance, A>R, that is, aspiration is greater than resources. I cannot agree more. A brilliant read.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ajai Chowdhry, one of the six founding members of HCL, began an exciting journey more than four decades ago, with a dream to give India its very own microcomputer. The pioneers of digital electronics in India, they scripted three major milestones of the IT industry: the PC revolution, mobile telephony and systems integration. Ajai, regarded as the ‘father of Indian hardware’, has been a relentless advocate of self-sufficiency in electronics. He has served, and continues to serve, on several government committees working towards making India the electronics hub of the world.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
‘Pathbreaking, passionate, persevering and purposeful Ajai has woven a delightful tapestry of personal experience and professional achievement. Just Aspire is a portrayal of him being in the forefront of creating and building an institution, by spotting opportunities, developing and nurturing relationships, and taking risks with great conviction and commitment. Ajai is amongst the many visionaries who continue to take forward the dream of building India through both technological and entrepreneurial excellence, by service and philanthropy. An inspiring read for everyone with national pride who believes in sound family values and lifelong learning.’
M.M. Murugappan, former chairman, Murugappa Group
I have nothing but the deepest admiration for Ajai’s passion and commitment to the cause of electronics hardware in India. He has never given up. His recipe is impressively uncluttered and I cannot but completely agree with it. The stars are lining up for us in this space but to win, we need to focus on skills, capital, conducive policies and all stakeholders coming together to create the Renaissance for manufacturing which the country critically needs. This book is an absolute must read.
Saurabh Srivastava, cofounder, NASSCOM and Indian Angel Network
It’s truly remarkable to read about Ajai’s achievements and contributions to the Indian IT industry. His ideas transformed not only the company where he worked for over three decades but also the Indian IT and hardware industries. His life-story is inspirational. His passion and drive to achieve and learn are evident in the book. It’s a warm and fun book, which will inspire many young minds to strive for excellence.
Neelam Dhawan, former managing director, HP
Infused with experience, learnings and memories, Just Aspire captures Ajai’s wealth of wisdom, his sense of curiosity and his towering leadership that make him one of the most brilliant professionals and coaches of our country. He is a huge believer in the India story and his biggest asset is his conviction and capability to convert dreams into reality. Ajai seamlessly blends the personal with the professional and has been my guru who taught me to be bold, to be a learner and to be relevant I owe it to Ajai. Read this book and learn from one of the best.
C.P. Gurnani, CEO and managing director, Tech Mahindra
Ajai’s journey from Jabalpur to be the cofounder of HCL as also chairman of several reputed institutions has been astoundingly remarkable. The best thing about Just Aspire is that it is provocative and written in a bold way truly a book of transformation and guidance. Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group