The National Association for Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) on Saturday named Mr Kiran Karnik, a former space research and television media executive, as its new president to succeed charismatic Dewang Mehta, who died in April.
Mr Phiroz Vandrevala, chairman of Nasscom, said that the body’s executive council approved a recommendation made by a selection committee. The details of Mr Karnik’s appointment and his starting date will be discussed on Sunday.
Nasscom has nearly 900 members, who account for 95 per cent of the revenue earned by India’s software industry.
While the Nasscom chairman’s job goes by rotation to an industry professional, the president runs a secretariat which serves the association.
Mr Karnik, seen as respected by both the government and the private sector, is a former head of Discovery Communications India, which broadcasts the Discovery television channel, and was earlier with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
Mr Karnik was the sole choice of a committee set up by Nasscom to pick the successor for Mr Mehta, who had died suddenly in Sydney at the age of 38 of an apparent heart attack.
The Nasscom president’s job is considered a key job in view of a major global interest in sourcing software from Indian firms. Global technology leaders have also set up their own software centres in India.
Despite a global slowdown, the association expects exports to grow by 40 to 45 per cent in the current fiscal. The industry aims to account for $50 billion in exports by 2008.