The past 20 years saw the information technology services market undergo significant changes and evolve based on competitive realities and client expectations. Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), the industry body which represents the sector has also undergone evolution based on the changes in the industry dynamics. However, a major transformation of Nasscom is required to answer unambiguously who the body represents and the cause for which it should fight for. Listing out key objectives would help in this transformation.
A major portion of its membership of more than 1,250 members is from IT services and software constituency while a large number of the new members do not hail from this pack. Online retailers, multinational bank offices, travel agencies etc leverage IT but are not into IT outsourcing, BPO or software. Sudin Apte, the CEO and research director of the IT advisory company Offshore Insights enumerates six key objectives of the transformation of Nasscom.
Nasscom’s Objectives of Transformation
- Extend industry-academia collaboration: Even though there is huge hype surrounding IP-based solutions, most of the work in India now is people-centric. The skills of college students are not adapted to the requirements of the industry. Nasscom should bridge this gap and ensure that the students have relevant syllabi, high standard facilities and faculty in colleges.
- Redefine government interaction: Working with the government should not only be for tax benefits, but also to implement citizens’ services and eGov projects which will increase the technology penetration and appreciation in the country.
- Create more delivery locations in the country: Even though steps are being taken in this respect, the over-crowded state in Delhi, Bangalore or Pune proves that several other delivery hubs should also be formed. This will reduce cost and staff attrition especially in lower levels.
- Help industry upgrade branding and international communication: Companies believe that the sector is moving up with its future based on IP-solutions. However, this belief does not change the fact that governments and clients abroad consider offshore services as job stealers. This image has to be changed by helping companies have increased focus on branding themselves and improve international communication.
- Help small and medium sized companies to incorporate core functions: Nasscom should encourage these companies to focus on building core functions such as corporate planning, strategic marketing as well as international business operations. This will help them build best practices and produce business-focused resources.
- Nasscom should function as an apex body that can partner with other relevant groups to meet aspirations of all stakeholders: The organization should take on the role of an apex body and allow new age companies that leverage IT to make their separate organizations. Collaborating with the different associations will help Nasscom focus on its core-constituency as well as the new age companies.
The announcement of iSpirt (group of thirty product companies) as well as city-level initiatives like Software Exporters’ Association of Pune and Hyderabad International Convention Centre indicates that Nasscom is falling short of catering to all companies under its wings and hence a major transformation of Nasscom is called for.