Chandrashekhar takes over as Nasscom head

Former Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, under whom a government IT department was set up for the first time, today took over as President of Nasscom -- a body representing the USD 108 billion Indian IT-BPM industry.

He succeeds Som Mittal, who served as the President of Nasscom from 2007-13."I feel privileged and look forward to leading Nasscom in its next journey of achieving the vision and aspiration of USD 300 billion revenues by 2020. The opportunities are very vast at this particular juncture and exciting times lie ahead for the industry," Chandrashekhar told PTI.He said the future looks positive for the Indian IT-BPM industry as the sector is evolving dramatically in terms of scale, complexity and innovation.

"Going forward, enabling radical transformation of key sectors in India through the use of ICT to increase access, enhance efficiency and enable innovation in the sector are going to be some of our priority focus areas.

"The rapidly accelerating trend of innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector impacts several domains and provides clear indicators that the journey has begun," Chandrashekhar said.

He added that changing models will bring compelling business innovations across key verticals such as banking, financial services and insurance, telecom, healthcare, education and social entrepreneurship.

He said the Indian IT-BPM industry, which is primarily export-driven, is at an inflexion point as business models shift from traditional labour-based onsite-offshore model to cloud-based and off–premise solutions.

Chandrashekhar was the Chairman, Telecom Commission and Secretary of the Department of Telecom till March last year. He held a variety of key assignments with many of them relating to the ICT sector, both at the Centre as well as state level.

Earlier, he had established the first Department of Information Technology in the country in the state of Andhra Pradesh and was Secretary of the Department from June, 1997 to December, 1999.

Besides the National Telecom Policy 2012, he played a key role the first National IT Policy and National Policy on Electronics during his dual role of IT and Telecom Secretary at the centre.A MSc graduate in Chemistry from IIT-Bombay, Chandrashekhar received a M S degree in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, US.

Mittal, who headed the industry body during the Lehman crisis in 2008 which impacted the Indian IT firms severely, said the years ahead are promising.

"The sector has transformed from being just technology providers and back end support to becoming strategic business partners. The industry weathered turbulence of the Lehman crisis and has come back on the growth trajectory.

"We have positioned ourselves for not just offering low-cost labour but also as providers of quality service. The years ahead look promising and we are well-poised to capture the opportunity," Mittal said, adding that he will continue to engage with the industry and Nasscom.

Talking about the challenges ahead, he said issues like the Immigration Bill in the US and restrictive policies in other countries needs to be monitored.

"Indian companies are creating jobs in overseas markets and we are contributing to talent development as well. That is something that needs to be communicated. Also, now we need to focus on developing markets like China and Japan, which have so far remained underpenetrated," Mittal said.

He added that the Indian IT sector is now transitioning from offering IT services to specialisation, which will drive the next phase of growth for the industry.

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