Leader in Indian IT to make the sector's case in DC

Cites growing bilateral investments in IT, contributions to U.S. business success stories

Feb 22, 2016, 09:30 ET from NASSCOM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. investments, customer support, and other economic contributions by India's information technology (IT) sector are expanding jobs for Americans, says NASSCOM's Mr. R. Chandrashekhar, president of the 1,500-member IT industry association in India.  He will make his first 2016 visit to Washington this week, Feb. 23-26, for related discussions with key members of Congress and staff leaders, senior Administration officials, and media representatives.

Chandrashekhar will address the growing investments and operations of India-based IT companies in the U.S. and the value of services they provide to thousands of American businesses and other customers.  He will also discuss the continuing need for high-skilled temporary visas in order to support U.S. customers and offset the chronic shortage of computer engineers, programmers, and other IT specialists in the U.S. – especially in large cities and technology hubs such as the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, New York, and Boston. 

A 2015 Harris survey sponsored by CareerBuilder found that, across industries and company sizes, more than 39% of 2,321 U.S. employers surveyed either hired or tried to hire foreign-born workers for specialized occupations in the past year.  Extended job vacancies caused loss of revenue (34%), lower quality of work due to employees being overworked (36%), declines in customer service (35%) and work simply not getting done (48%), according to the survey.

Prior to becoming president of NASSCOM in January 2014, Chandrashekhar held a senior leadership position in India's Department of Communications and Information Technology.  He also was the principal architect behind a triad of policies approved by the Government in 2012 to leverage Information and communication technologies for innovative solutions in education, health care, financial inclusion, e-governance, skill development, employment generation, and other applications. On several occasions, he led Indian delegations to Washington, DC, to discuss telecom reform, spectrum allocation, broadband policy, and other topics of mutual interest.  Chandrashekhar has a M.S. degree in Computer Science from Penn State University as well as a M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. 

For many years and now as NASSCOM's president, Chandrashekhar has been a strong advocate for facilitating greater investment in India by U.S. technology companies, intellectual property protection, strengthened cyber security, and a level playing field for India-U.S. commercial relations.  Testifying to the U.S. International Trade Commission, he described how NASSCOM "has served as an influential agent of change, helping to open more doors for American companies to invest and do business in India."  As a result, U.S. and other foreign businesses captured 84% of India's domestic market for IT hardware; 84% for software, and 63% in overall IT and business process outsourcing in recent years.

NASSCOM and its member companies also are actively contributing to STEM education initiatives both in India and the U.S. to meet growing needs.  According to Change the Equation, a Washington-based nonprofit led by American technology industry leaders, U.S. jobs in computing will grow 19 per cent compared to 11 per cent for all jobs between 2014 and 2024.  The difference is even higher in some states such as Alabama, where computing-related jobs are expected to grow by 25 per cent compared to 12% for all other types of jobs.

With more than 1,500 members, NASSCOM is one of the largest technology-focused trade associations in the world.  In the 25 years since formation, NASSCOM has grown to represent many U.S. and other foreign-based companies who want to do business in India.  The association also has launched three affiliated organizations: the National Institute for Smart Governance, the NASSCOM Foundation, and the Data Security Council of India.