Speech by Indian Minister of Home Affairs at NASSCOM

Shri P Chidambaram, the India Minister of Home Affairs gave a speech at the Awards Ceremony at NASSCOM last night.

There were several points of interest I wanted to highlight.

First he set out how the companies that form NASSCOM – that is Indian software and services had grown from $1billion revenue in 1990, to $8,4billion in 2000 and now to over $100billion.  That is some growth rate!

They employ 2.8 million people and 75% of their revenue are exports.  This shows what an engine of growth the Indian IT services industry has been over the last 20 years.

The Minister pointed to three areas where the NASSCOM companies had contributed to India’s development:

1) the projection of soft power and reputation, India now has a global reputation as a knowledge nation and Indians are recognised as being tech-savvy the world over;

2) careers in the IT industry have enabled social mobility for many thousands who have risen from humble backgrounds through hard work and education to occupy well paid jobs; and

3) the IT industry in India had been the first to search for talent amongst the whole of the Indian population and from the secondary cities and from the more remote areas.

The Minister concluded with a challenge to the Indian IT industry to do for India what they did for Western companies; that is find solutions to problems.  They should find better ways to distribute food for the poor, manage rural water supplies and enable a rural doctor to see 200 outpatients in a day.

I thought there was a lot of food for thought here for non Indians in the audience in the Minister’s speech.  Perhaps we can learn from NASSCOM in how thy have ensured that IT and its economic importance is top of the national agenda.

About paulcoby
I am IT Director at John Lewis. I Chair SITA - the airline solutions company owned by the Air Transport Community - and I also chair the eSkillsUK CIO Board. Previously I was Head of BA Services and for 10 years CIO at British Airways.

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