George Fernandes (born 3 June 1930) is a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Muzaffarpur constituency of Bihar and is a member of the Janata Dal political party.
He is a trade union activist, former defence minister in the NDA Government (1998-2004).
George Fernandes' first ministerial tenure was marred by controversies and allegations. He clashed with multinationals like IBM and Coca Cola and ordered them to leave the Indian shores. It was the time, when the world was opening up to the Computer Revolution and this decision is regretted to have got India behind by a decade in the Information Superway. Also, this was seen as a major impediment in India's economic scenario as multinationals hesitated to invest in India. It was not until the Congress Government, headed by P.V.Narasimha Rao that the multinationals made a beeline towards India.
During the times when IBM and Coke were out of India, India set up a company called Computer Maintenance Corporation to take care of the installations of IBM computers. This company grew into several other aspects of computer industry and eventually merged with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Coke was replaced by a drink called Thumbs Up!
When Coke came back to India in 1993, Thumbs Up! brand was picked up by the company.