1970: IBM India

IBM_vintage_ad_Jan 9, 1970

1970 print ad of IBM India

In 1951, with an eye on modernizing India using technology, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru welcomed IBM. With a manufacturing facility at Mumbai, the company partnered with several Govt organizations by deploying their giant computers which required trucks for transportation & delivery.

Over the next 2 decades, the company made inroads into several private & educational entities as well with a variety of electronic products including personal computers, storage devices, typewriters & printers under the “THINK” catchphrase.


In 1978, when the Janata Party Govt implemented an act which required foreign companies to dilute their stake in their Indian subsidiaries to just 26% and disclose all their trade secrets, IBM refused to oblige and quit India. The manufacturing facilities were shut down and all the computer maintenance operations were transferred to an Indian company called CMC (‘Computer Management Corporation) which later became CMC Ltd (Computer Maintenance Corporation Limited).

When the economy was liberalized in early 1990s, IBM entered India with the help of Tata under a new company called “Tata Information Systems Ltd”, later shortened to “Tata-IBM” and eventually “IBM India” in 1997 as a 100% subsidiary of IBM.