India's Nasscom to include focus on Web, mobile

Indian software industry body will expand its focus as part of restructuring in order to ensure adequate representation of the country's IT business landscape.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

India's software industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), has announced it will expand its focus to include Internet and mobile technologies, and the domestic IT market, as part of its restructuring plan to stay relevant.

Nasscom is trying to tackle criticism that the association, founded 20 years ago, is irrelevant and caters only to large software services companies, Livemint reported Monday. A focus on the Internet is the latest attempt to show it represents and is hence relevant to other major tech businesses such as online Indian retailer Flipkart, the report noted.

Last month, Nasscom announced it will restructure itself to stay current with the country's changing IT market. The organization has been criticized for not doing enough to help local IT companies struggling to cope with the changes in the business environment.

India's software industry body, Nasscom, will expand its focus areas to now include Web, mobile and the domestic IT market.

A Nasscom committee, led by Infosys' co-founder and chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy, also recommended setting up 5 centers of excellence over five years that will focus on areas such as e-commerce and software engineering. Nasscom chairman N Chandrasekaran, who is also CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, said the committee's recommendations have received "overwhelming endorsement" by member companies, according to the report.

Murthy said the association in the past predominantly focused on only 4 areas: IT services, business process management, and engineering R&D (research and development) services, and global in-house centers (GIC) of MNCs in India.

Nasscom has targeted the software industry's revenue to triple to US$300 billion by 2020, and expects about a third of it to come from new areas such as the Internet and mobile, it added.

"If we have to get to US$300 billion, there is considerable need to focus on other opportunities, as well as strengthen existing areas. So we have expanded the charter to include Internet and mobile content commerce, products...and if we want IT to make a difference, then we also have to focus on the domestic IT market," Murthy pointed out.

Nasscom's executive council will also be restructured to ensure adequate representation for all 7 areas it will now focus on, the report said. Nasscom has faced criticism from smaller software companies which said it tended to favor the interests of larger software services companies, it added.

Nasscom's restructuring plan comes less than a month after 30 of its members broke away to form a new association called the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSpirt).

In a separate report by The Hindu Business Line Monday, Nasscom said it plans to add another 3,000 members to its body to help it meet the US$300 billion revenue target.

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