The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) will go for a special thrust to energise seven mini Nasscoms. The software body’s new Chairman C P Gurnani, also Managing Director & CEO of Tech Mahindra, shared with M Rajendran, the challenges and opportunities for the organisation. Excerpts:
What are the challenges you see for Nasscom in the year ahead?
I belong to the school that does not see challenges but opportunities. Our members represent a $150 billion industry, we serve about four million technologists. Taken together, it is time for reorganisation. We have decided to make seven mini Nasscoms to tap the opportunities. This will be done by Global innovation centres, IT services council, Internet council, Product council, Engineering and R&D, BPM council and Domestic innovation council. We will engage them in national and international challenges. Nasscom is a very high impact organisation.
How do you plan to address the challenge of discrimination in H1B and L1 visa?
Nasscom, on geopolitical and global trade issues, has a dedicated set of people in Delhi, London and Washington who are constantly working with the Ministry of Commerce and External Affairs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement in Washington is a reflection of concerns taken up by Nasscom on a regular basis. We realise that global trade will have some challenges. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has referred the matter to WTO. We are working on policy in India, global policy and a lot of think tanks. So, we are able to understand different viewpoints.
Do you see a challenge from countries like China and the Philippines to Indian IT firms?
I look at this differently. China will be a big trade partner and companies will have to learn to collaborate and compete. Our BPM council is constantly in touch with China and the Philippines and they also visit us regularly. More important is that we have to evolve. For example, digital is a disruptor, and an opportunity. The world has got appified. Today, if I want to read The New Indian Express, I have many steps before I reach it. Tomorrow I will have a sensor, that will know whatever part of world I am in, my gadget will show The New Indian Express, the schedule of my day and my next meeting. It is a technology of sensors, artificial intelligence and data analytics and it is already available. This will happen with collaboration and opportunity across the world.
So what is Nasscom’s biggest opportunity?
The ability to peep into the future, and work with the academic community. I am working with IIM Bengaluru on the future of leadership, so it is not only about the future of industry, but leadership too. Because leaders need to respond to changes.
Lack of skilled people. Is Nasscom concerned?
It is a huge concern. The HRD Ministry has to collaborate to resolve this. IT has become DT –not digital but data, which requires skills to process technology and industry. How many colleges are anticipating it? Skill development is not keeping pace with the pace at which the industry is changing. Change in the industry is much faster. We are going to overspend our own earning potential, because we believe that this is a year of transformation. It is a global challenge, but more of an India challenge, since we will have 12 million people coming in for jobs . ‘Give your students a right direction’ is what we are telling academic institutions.