Cognizant’s Chandrasekaran Is Nasscom’s New Chairman

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 10, 2014


Nasscom has named, R. Chandrasekaran, executive vice-chairman of Cognizant Technology Solutions as its new chairman for the financial year 2014-15. The Cognizant veteran of two decades, will take over from Mindtree’s CEO and co-founder Krishnakumar Natarajan. Nasscom also named B.V.R. Mohan Reddy as its new vice-chairman, a role that was previously held by Chandrasekaran. Reddy is the founder of Infotech Enterprises.

“I look forward to working with our members and senior leaders in the executive council to help shape the industry for the next level of growth and sustain our leadership position globally,” Chandrasekaran said in a statement.

Chandrasekaran takes over as Nasscom’s chairman at a time when the Indian IT industry is going through one of its biggest transformations, believe experts. The last remarkable transition was the dotcom boom in the early 2000s. Today, customers are opting for pay-as-you-go pricing models on outsourcing projects and are looking to cut costs by automating many activities previously done manually. As a result of which more and more companies are compelled to rely on non-linear revenue growth models.

Chandrasekaran also said that the proposed US Immigration Bill will also be on top of the agenda for Nasscom as some of the provisions of the Bill, especially, H-1B visas, continued to be an area of concern for the Indian IT industry.

There have been criticisms from the industry for allegedly favoring large companies over smaller technology firms. Startups will thereby be another key priority for the new Chairman. Nasscom is reportedly taking 25 start-ups to the Silicon Valley. Chandrasekaran said that the industry body aims to provide a global platform for innovative young businesses to collaborate, connect and co-create. “It will be a weeklong immersive experience in which these start-ups will have a first-hand experience of Silicon Valley product ecosystem, access to global venture capitalists, angel investors and chance to connect with big tech enterprises,” he told Business Line.

Industry watchers also believe that Chandrasekaran will continue with Nasscom’s 20:20 vision, something, which the former Chairman Natarajan had done, alongside other plans to drive the sector’s growth.

The IT industry, which generates about $118 billion in annual revenue, is expected to touch $300 billion by 2020, according to Nasscom. Last year, based on a report by a committee led by Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, Nasscom said it would expand its focus to include areas such as Internet and mobile content, software products and the domestic IT market.