India software firms splinter from Nasscom

IT trade body will lose 30 software companies after the group decided to break away and form a new association to specifically promote local software developers and expand the scale of their products.

Thirty Indian software companies have decided to splinter from the dominant IT industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), as they look to promote the growth of domestic software sector.

The Economic Times reported Monday the new association, which will be named the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSpirt), was formed because the founding members believed the basic building blocks to develop a powerful software industry are in place. It plans to share its expertise and collective experiences with members, and create a larger awareness in society and government about the critical role software can play --which are issues they cannot effectively do under Nasscom, it said.

The new trade body will be led by Bharat Goenka, co-founder of Tally Solutions, and aided by startup mentor and founder of Brand Sigma Sharad Sharma, Naveen Tewari, CEO and founder of InMobi, and Vishnu Dusad, founder of Nucleus Software. These executives will meet for their first meeting in Bangalore today to formalize iSpirt and develop actions plans, it noted.

"A few good software services companies may be good enough to serve the top 500 hospitals in India. But if you want to address 5 million or more hospitals around the country, you cannot do it without software products," said Goenka.

The executive also told Economic Times he had talked with Nasscom President Som Mittal for six months about the decision to break away, and Nasscom has promised support and iSpirt will not be in conflict with anybody. Dusad added the new association would work with all industry bodies which are dedicated to creating world-class products and intellectual property.

Sharma pointed out iSpirt will not have a president, but has opted for a governing council consisting of the four men--Goenka, Tewari, Dusad and himself--instead. "We'll have a flat structure and have a volunteer model. We believe that creates higher quality outcomes than one where you have a paid official running the organization," he explained.