5:18 pm - Monday June 14, 4928

R. Chandrasekaran named new Nasscom chairman

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Bangalore – Software services industry lobby group Nasscom has named US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.’s R. Chandrasekaran as its new chairman for the 2014-15 financial year.

Chandrasekaran, Cognizant India executive vice-chairman and a Cognizant veteran of two decades, will take over from Mindtree’s chief executive 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.

Chandrasekaran takes over as chairman of Nasscom at a time when the Indian information technology (IT) industry is going through its biggest transformation since the dotcom boom in the early 2000s, with companies increasingly being forced to rely on non-linear revenue growth models as customers opting for pay-as-you-go pricing models on outsourcing projects and reducing costs by automating many tasks that previously required the presence of engineers.

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

The US Congress mandates filing of up to 65,000 H-1B work visas for companies. The quota has already been exhausted within the first week of filing, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Indian IT companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd, are among the highest applicants for H-1B visas every year.

“Obviously we are concerned and we are very watchful. Things have not really changed over the last few months,” Chandrasekaran said in a phone interview. “Whatever form the Bill takes finally, we’ll take the facts into consideration accordingly and hopefully things will not be disruptive.”

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.

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