In­dia's IT Am­bas­sador

DE­B­JANI GHOSH IS ACT­ING AS A CAT­A­LYST FOR IN­DIAN IT'S TRANFORMATION.

Business Today - - THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS - By GOUTAM DAS

DE­B­JANI GHOSH, PRES­I­DENT, NASS­COM, plot­ted her ca­reer well. Ever since she was a young mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive at In­tel, Ghosh wanted to head the com­pany’s In­dia op­er­a­tions. Ev­ery ca­reer de­ci­sion she took there­after was taken with this goal in mind. In 2012, she re­turned from abroad to head In­tel South Asia.

In five years, she was look­ing out for the next chal­leng­ing as­sign­ment, the next big plat­form. She quit In­tel and be­came an an­gel in­vestor be­fore join­ing Nass­com in April 2018. The In­dian IT in­dus­try’s pow­er­ful body is one plat­form from where she can in­flu­ence poli­cies and the di­rec­tion the in­dus­try is tak­ing.

Nass­com, how­ever, is now a com­pli­cated an­i­mal. Even a decade back, it was largely a big boys’ club. Now, it has a di­ver­si­fied mem­ber pro­file — start-ups, SMEs, prod­uct com­pa­nies, ser­vices com­pa­nies, BPO com­pa­nies; and of course both multi­na­tion­als and In­dian com­pa­nies. Stay­ing rel­e­vant to all of them is a tough ask. To top this, the tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try is in the mid­dle of a trans­for­ma­tion with ex­po­nen­tial tech­nolo­gies such as Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence and Blockchain gain­ing ground. The IT ser­vices in­dus­try is trans­form­ing from out­sourc­ing to be­ing more value-added

WHY SHE MAT T E RS She is head­ing Nass­com at a time the in­dus­try is fac­ing a set of com­plex chal­lenges

part­ners; start-ups are trans­form­ing from in­cre­men­tal so­lu­tions to be­ing more in­no­va­tive prob­lem solvers; multi­na­tion­als are shift­ing more R&D work to In­dia. Ghosh, there­fore, brack­ets, her pri­or­i­ties into three. “I want Nass­com to be seen as a cat­a­lyst that ac­cel­er­ates this trans­for­ma­tion. The first thing is to re­vamp the in­no­va­tion cul­ture in In­dia,” she says. “In­no­va­tion, to­day, is about co-cre­ation. It is about ‘tech­nol­ogy meets art’ and do­main ex­per­tise. How do you cre­ate that mind­set? That was the prob­lem we said we would solve.” Ghosh’s sec­ond pri­or­ity is to build the skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties re­quired for In­dus­try 4.0. “As a coun­try we fo­cus on job losses but there are new jobs get­ting cre­ated and we don’t have the skills for it. It is now about work­ing with the gov­ern­ment and the in­dus­try to get peo­ple re-skilled,” she says. Nass­com and the in­dus­try wants to train two mil­lion peo­ple over the next four years on fu­ture jobs.

Her third agenda is to open up new mar­kets for In­dian IT, be­yond North Amer­ica and Europe. Of course, the in­dus­try body has to han­dle pro­tec­tion­ist rhetoric from across the globe.

Pres­i­dent,NASS­COM DE­B­JANI GHOSH

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