Som Mittal

DQI Bureau
New Update

Now that industry veteran Som Mittal, who has managed not just

software operations, but even hardware and peripherals, is going to be at the

helm of affairs at Nasscom, I thought it might be a good idea if I bring

everyones attention to the basic objectives of this IT industry association.

It is an apt time for the industry to give him new and fresh ideas for taking

forward the legacy of Dewang Mehta and Kiran Karnik.


The Nasscom website does not mention, if the current set of

objectives, said to be updated in March 2006, is in any order of priority.

Therefore, I will take them up here, in the same order as they appear on the


The first objective before Nasscom is maintaining close

interaction with the Government of India in formulating national IT policies

with specific focus on IT software and services. I think this is one area where

not just the industry, but also the entire nation will benefit, if Nasscom plays

a more involved role. India needs to move faster on its e-Governance plan, and

there are lots of big issues that the industry is facing here.

Beyond the

current objectives, the Indian software industry needs to work on

processes, entrepreneurship, corporate discipline, industry co-operation,

and nation building

The second is to maintain a state of the art information

database of IT software and services related activities for use of both the

software developers as well as interested companies overseas. My personal view

is that Nasscom does not have the wherewithal to handle this, and should drop it

from its agenda, or at best, outsource this. Nasscoms databases are old and


Thirdly, to encourage members to provide world-class quality

products, services and solutions in India and overseas, and help build brand

equity for the Indian IT software and services industry. This is a very

important objective I agree, but lots of small players feel that they are

ignored. Nasscom must take smaller players along.

The fourth objective is to take effective steps to campaign

against software piracy. I would like to add that ideally it should not be a

campaign against software piracy, but a campaign to promote licensed software

and help bridge the software vendor-small user gap.


The fifth is to provide an ideal forum for overseas and domestic

companies to explore the vast potential available for JVs, strategic alliances,

marketing alliances, and joint product development. I would suggest that the

stress here should be on encouraging innovation, and also on taking more Indian

companies overseas. And on product development, which is said to be the final


The sixth objective is to work actively with Overseas

Governments, Embassies to make the Visa and work permit rules more "India

industry friendly". I believe that vice versa, Nasscom should also

enlighten the Indian government to make business visa more accessible for other

countries, including those in the SAARC.

Objective number seven that Nasscom has set before itself is to

disseminate various policies, market information and other relevant statistics

by sending more than 200 circulars (annually) to all members. Its a great

thing, but I am sure that Nasscom could increase and improve its reach,

especially to cover smaller companies, and also CIOs. They are as of now low on

Nasscoms radar.

The last objective at Nasscom is to involve membership

participation in various forums of Nasscom on subjects such as HRD, technology,

exports, domestic market, e-Governance, IT enabled services, IPR, finance,

government policies, and quality. I strongly believe that beyond all this,

Indian software industry needs lectures on processes, entrepreneurship,

corporate discipline, industry co-operation, and nation building.

The author is Group Editor of Dataquest.