Forrester head says Nasscom’s restructuring is in right direction

Infotech Lead Asia: Manish Bahl, vice president and country manager, Forrester India, says Nasscom’s restructuring exercise — part of 2020 vision — is in the right direction, but long road ahead.

On March 4, 2013, NASSCOM, the industry association for the IT BPO sector in India, announced a restructuring plan to help realize its goal of India becoming a $300 billion industry by 2020.

The restructuring plan is based on an independent committee’s recommendations, chaired by Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy.

Provided below are the key highlights from the announcement:

· Re-alignment of NASSCOM structure to seven verticals (IT Services, Business Process Management, Global In-house Centers, Engineering & R&D Services, Internet & Mobile, Products, Domestic Market) and five enablers (Global Trade, Policy Advocacy, Outreach, Skills & Talent,  Regional Connect)
· Executive Council to be reconstituted to have adequate representation from the seven identified verticals
· Formation of various councils including National Vertical Councils; Country Councils in key markets and strengthening Regional Councils to address local issues
· Set up five centres of excellence in five years for software engineering, emerging technologies, vertical solutions, E-commerce, service excellence and governance
· Facilitate 100,000 certifications in specialist skills and domain areas
It is evident from the announcements – to be implemented in a phased manner – that NASSCOM is trying to strengthen its role at all levels of government and the private sector, while addressing the concerns of its members. Forrester welcomes the restructuring plan from NASSCOM as it will help the industry body strengthen its role within as well as outside of India. The more participatory model from NASSSCOM will provide the following benefits:
· Bring greater transparency to the system as members can actively participate through various councils
· Empower members by allowing them to contribute actively in the decision-making process at various levels
· Strengthen the interaction with key stakeholders through workshops
· Re-align the institutional system within NASSCOM to de-centralize power and elevate knowledge-sharing
The committee has provided a 10,000 foot view to NASSCOM and now the industry body needs to ensure that it executes the vision well. I believe NASSCOM must focus most immediately on the following key tasks to ensure that its 2020 vision stays on track:
· Strengthen the system within NASSCOM by defining and empowering the key roles and responsibilities of people involved in execution and recruit leaders from the private sector to head the identified verticals.
· Develop a continuous monitoring mechanism to perform a reality-check on the status of goal attainment against key milestones.
· Provide strong integration between the seven verticals to avoid silos working independently, which can lead to competition and inefficient overlaps.
· Prioritize verticals to achieve its goals in a timely manner; after all, there is only so much NASSCOM can do with existing resources.
· Ensure that capacity-building is taken seriously and is not a cosmetic facelift

The participatory approach announced by NASSCOM looks and sounds great, but now the hard work begins. Of greatest importance is that the right set of people are involved and empowered at all levels.

The restructuring will be a radical change for NASSCOM; it needs to ensure that in addition to bringing in the right leaders, a mind-shift of its own people takes place and a strong monitoring mechanism in place to ensure its vision is successfully executed.

Manish Bahl, vice president and country manager, Forrester India,
[email protected]

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