When an R-Day Padma honour comes after a DQ Award

Sunil Rajguru
New Update
Dataquest IT Person of the Year 2022 713x420

From 1993-2011, 18 people got the DQ IT Person of the Year. Out of those 18 winners, 12 have already got a Padma award and more could still get it. Check out the list and how DQ has always been a trend setter. The total overlap of DQ-Padma awards stands at 20 and counting.


At the recently concluded DQ ICT Awards Show, Saurabh Srivastava pointed out that many of the DQ award winners went on to win the Padma awards. (He himself followed this path) I decided to look at this and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was indeed the case!

The 40-year-old influence of Dataquest on the country comes to light in more ways than one, not just policy and market impact. Winning the Dataquest IT Person of the Year does increase your chances of winning the Government of India’s prestigious Padma Award on Republic Day.

A look at the list…


1. N. Vittal, Former Central Vigilance Commissioner.

1993: IT Person of the Year.

2012: Padma Bhushan.


2. Shiv Nadar, Chairman Emeritus, HCLTech.

1995: IT Person of the Year.

2008: Padma Bhushan.


3. Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys.

1996: IT Person of the Year.

2000: Padma Shri.


2007: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2008: Padma Vibhushan.

4. Rajendra S Pawar, Executive Chairman, NIIT


1998: IT Person of the Year.

2011: Padma Bhushan.

5. Azim Premji, Founder Chairman, Wipro.


1999: IT Person of the Year.

2011: Padma Vibhushan.

6. Sunil Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.

2002: IT Person of the Year.

2007: Padma Bhushan.

8. Deepak Puri, Chairman, Moser Baer.

2003: IT Person of the Year.

2010: Padma Shri.

9. S Ramadorai, Former CEO & MD, TCS.

2004: IT Person of the Year.

2006: Padma Bhushan.

10. Kiran Karnik, Former President, NASSCOM.

2005: IT Person of the Year.

2007: Padma Shri.

11. Ajai Chowdhry, Founder, HCL.

2007: IT Person of the Year.

2011: Padma Bhushan.

12. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Group.

2011: IT Person of the Year.

2022: Padma Bhushan.

Bonus: Nandan Nilekani, Chairman and Co-founder, Infosys & Founding Chairman Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI-Aadhaar) won both DQ IT Person of the Year and the Padma Bhushan in 2006.

That’s 13/18 if you count Nilekani. I am putting 2011 as the cut off year as Chandrasekaran was the last to get a Padma award in this list. Those from 2012 are still in the reckoning (as are even those from before 2011 actually).

The DQ Lifetime Achievement Award also has a good track record though that has an overlap with IT Person of the Year…

1. FC Kohli, Co-founder & first CEO of TCS.

1995: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2002: Padma Bhushan.

2. Dr N Seshagiri, Former Director-General, National Informatics Centre.

1996: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2005: Padma Bhushan.

3. Prof V Rajaraman, Indian computer pioneer.

1997: Lifetime Achievement Award.

1998: Padma Bhushan.

4. Sam Pitroda, Father of Indian Telecom.

2002: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2009: Padma Bhushan.

5. Prof D B Phatak, Indian computer pioneer.

2008: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2013: Padma Shri.

6. Saurabh Srivastava, Co-Founder, NASSCOM, Founder Indian Angel Network.

2014: Lifetime Achievement Award.

2016: Padma Shri.

The following IT Persons of the Year and Padma winners also went on to win the Lifetime Achievement Award:

N Vittal (2004)

Azim Premji (2009)

Shiv Nadar (2010)

Kiran Karnik (2011)

S Ramadorai (2012)

Ajai Chowdhry (2013)

Nandan Nilekani (2015)

Rajendra S Pawar (2019)

Bonus: Vijay P Bhatkar won a Padma Shri in 2000 and then got the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. However, he then went on to win the Padma Bhushan in 2015!