Nasscom , the information technology (IT) industry lobby, may have been responsible for spurring the Indian IT industry's revenues from about $50 million in the late 1980s to more than $100 billion now, but it has periodically come under scrutiny, with some industry watchers questioning its relevance today. The IT exports industry, they point out, is mature and big enough while new-generation software product companies are just too small to make their voices heard within Nasscom, which sometimes is jokingly referred to as a "big boys' club".
Nasscom executives attending its flagship event, the India Leadership Forum, in Mumbai, believe the body is still relevant.
They are also taking a fresh look at its structure and focus.
On Tuesday, the body's executive council debated the recommendations made by a committee headed by Infosys Chairman Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy, which was tasked with chalking out a future path for Nasscom.
The lobby is tightlipped on the recommendations but said they include looking at how Nasscom should organise itself for the future and what its framework should be. "We are looking to build the future of Nasscom," said Krishnakumar Natarajan, Vice Chairman of Nasscom, speaking to BT. "We need more thought leadership given the body's breadth. We have to look at more active participation from our members."
To be fair, Nasscom does have a fair share of mid-tier and product companies as members. Every year, it holds a well-attended 'Product Conclave' in Bangalore. Natarajan himself is the CEO of a mid-tier company, Mindtree. However, the body's critics got a shot in the arm with the formation of the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSpirt) earlier this month. This "think tank" is largely made up of existing Nasscom members. It aims to impact and shape policy, open the small and medium business market for software product companies, and arrange merger and acquisition connects.
So, more than anything else, Nasscom needs to re-imagine the role it will play for the software product industry, going head.