Nasscom to appoint former telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar as president

IT industry’s apex body Nasscom is set to appoint former telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar as the president.

Chandrasekhar will succeed SomMittal. Chandrasekhar will be Nasscom’s fourth president.

The $100 billion IT industry body’s executive council is expected to approve the name at its meeting on Friday in Delhi, Times of India reported.

Chandrasekhar, an IAS officer who joined the government in 1975, retired as telecom secretary in March this year.

At the IT department, he was instrumental in initiating the national e-governance program, including the common service centre program, the state data center program and the state wide area network program.

Nasscom had mandated executive search firm Egon Zehnder to find a candidate to succeed Mittal. Ravi Venkatesan, who was chairman of Microsoft India, and Ganesh Natarajan, vice chairman of Zensar Technologies, were among those that were considered for the role.

The biggest challenge for Chandrasekhar will be handling the visa issue and its implications if the new US bill is passed.

Formation of iSpirt, a competing industry body with the support of IT industry veterans is also a threat to Nasscom. Founders of Tally Solutions, InMobi, Nucleus Software, among others, have formed Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSpirt) to develop a software product industry. The move will be a big blow to Nasscom as 30 Indian software product companies are part of iSpirt.

Maintaining the IT industry growth and IT employment in India will be another challenge for Nasscom.

IT employment is likely to grow in 2013 as IT Capex to grow 8 percent globally.

According to Gartner, IT investment in Asia Pacific is likely to touch $743 billion in 2013, up 7.9 percent over 2012. The devices segment (including PCs, tablets, mobile phones & printers) in Asia Pacific is projected to reach $229.7 billion. This estimate is up 12.3 percent from spending in 2012. IT services are predicted to reach $91.5 billion, up by 7.5 percent.

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