iSpirt launched as Nasscom tries to stay relevant with startups

Top 10 startups. Image source

India’s information-technology association, Nasscom may split itself to serve a new breed of startup companies besides bigger software services firms. In order to stay relevant, Nasscom, which represents the $100 billion industry, must also accommodate the growing aspirations of smaller software manufacturing companies.

Since its inception in 1988, Nasscom has lobbied for India’s growing software firms in top European markets.  Also they have been contending with US lawmakers to position India as the world’s biggest market for technology services and job creation.

Growing software companies aspire to grow into an established business group and to expand big-time similar to industry giants like TCS, Infosys or Wipro. To fulfill such dreams it is necessary for Nasscom to collapse its ‘large format’ and to split up into smaller units. Then they can woo India’s next generation firms such as Flipkart Ltd (online retailer) and Zoho Inc (office software maker).

Indian Software Product Industry Round Table

Very recently, some 30-odd software firms including Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Yahoo InC and InMobi had created a separate forum named the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table, or iSpirt. iSpirt, which stands for the growing community of software entrepreneurs usually, moves around the discussions of intellectual property rather than the broad industry lobbying. This forum inspires and encourages start-ups to explore a platform of their own and arrange meetings to share big ideas that can be useful in the long run.

According to Nasscom, iSpirt is a policy think tank on software products. Irrespective of iSpirt, Nasscom follow the same policies and procedures for start-ups, which they used to employ for larger services firms. They are planning for a flagship annual event for the software services sector by February 13-15 of this month. In this event discussions may happen between member firms, their customers, and sponsors.

With the aim to get restructured by 2020, Nasscom has appointed a seven-member committee led by Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy. Other members of this panel are Rajan Anandan, Krishnakumar Natarajan, Pramod Bhasin, Ganesh Lakshminarayanan, Ashank Desai and Som Mittal. Unfortunately, Nasscom is still far behind in its objective to reengineer itself. There are considerations towards evolving into an organization with different councils serving the interest of different groups like large software exporters, product firms, start-ups and domestic IT.

An ideal approach would be to find ways of funding startups during the earlier part of their growth. If Nasscom splits up into small breakaway units, it can take care of the issues faced by smaller product firms more efficiently. Nasscom should re-invent itself to become a curator of ideas and a proper guide for startups.

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