BROWSE THROUGH

THE MAVERICK EFFECT


The Maverick Effect is the extraordinary story of a band of dreamers who joined hands to transform an industry, a nation, and India’s global perception. Discover what led to the IT revolution in India, that built an industry valued at a staggering $200 billion today. Honest, open, and inspiring the book tells the story of how no vision is impossible if unrelenting, kindred spirits unite.

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Takeaways From The Maverick Effect

Words of Appreciation

The Maverick Effect has captured the attention and received acclaim from India’s top industry leaders, eminent educationists, poets, diplomats and many more.

Anupam Mittal Founder, Shaadi.com
Ashank Desai Founder and Former Chairman, Mastek
Atul Nishar Founder & Executive Chairman, Hexaware Technologies Ltd.
Debjani Ghosh President, NASSCOM
Farzana Haque Business Director, TCS
Ganesh Natarajan Chairman 5F World, Former MD, Zensar Technologies
Gopalaswami N Former, Election Commissioner
Harsh Manglik Former Chairman & Geography Managing Director, Accenture India
Keshav Murugesh Group MD & CEO, WNS
Kiran Karnik Former President, NASSCOM
Lakshmi Narayanan Former Vice Chairman, Cognizant
Dr. Deepak Phatak Prof. Emeritus, IIT Bombay
Mr. Deepak S Parekh Chairman, HDFC Ltd.
Namita Thapar CEO, Emcure Pharmaceuticals
Nandan Nilekani Chairman and Co-Founder of Infosys and, Founding Chairman of UIDAI(Aadhaar)
N.R Narayana Murthy Founder, Infosys
N.Chandrasekaran Chairperson, Tata Sons
Pravin Rao Former COO, Infosys
Raj Nair Chairman, Avalon Consulting
Rajan Anandan Managing Director, Sequoia Capital
Rajiv Kumar Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog
Ramdeo Agrawal Founder and Chairman, Motilal Oswal
Rekha Menon Chairperson NASSCOM, Chairperson Accenture India
Rishad Premji Chairman, Wipro
S Ramadorai Former Vice Chairman, TCS
Sanjay Sharma Founder-CEO, Tata Interactive Systems
Sitanshu Yashaschandra Highly acclaimed poet, .
Sameer Ghelaut CEO, India Bulls
Vijay Ratnaparkhe CIO, Robert Bosch GmbH
Walter Vieira Marketing Guru and, Author

Anupam Mittal

Harish bhai’s fast-paced book is the first and the only book that I’ve read that chronicles the creation, evolution and role of NASSCOM as an organization. It is quite revealing to realize that an industry body could actually birth & bind an industry the size of our IT industry. At almost $200B top-line & directly employing close to 5 million engineers NASSCOM has been the force multiplier that has built India Inc’s brand as a global tech power. In fact, our red-hot start up industry is also built on the same rails. We wouldn’t be seeing the start-up frenzy that

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Harish bhai’s fast-paced book is the first and the only book that I’ve read that chronicles the creation, evolution and role of NASSCOM as an organization. It is quite revealing to realize that an industry body could actually birth & bind an industry the size of our IT industry. At almost $200B top-line & directly employing close to 5 million engineers NASSCOM has been the force multiplier that has built India Inc’s brand as a global tech power. In fact, our red-hot start up industry is also built on the same rails. We wouldn’t be seeing the start-up frenzy that we are witnessing today without the strong foundations laid by the IT industry and the visionaries who dared to dream, when India was barely awake.

One important lesson for me from this rich historic account is about values. That to build something really game-changing and perhaps alter the destiny of a nation, one needs to start with very strong foundations. In the times we live in, all too often, youngsters focus on immediate gratification, lofty valuations and short-term fixes instead of playing the long game. Harish Bhai’s life and the story of NASSCOM are a testimony to the endurance of an edifice that is built on top of a solid value system.

Even though the two worlds of technology services and start-ups rarely collide, an important takeaway for the start-up ecosystem is that, as entrepreneurs, we must put forth a single voice. Multiple positions fragment our arguments and create a cacophony that confuses policymakers. As India moves into the future, it will become critical that start-up entrepreneurs work beyond their company’s objectives and collaborate with one another to navigate complex issues. I would go as far to say that it is our responsibility to ensure that we borrow a page from NASSCOM’s & Indian IT’s history, unite as one voice, and make India, what Harish Bhai calls, A Truly Smart Nation.

A must-read for students, history & science buffs, entrepreneurs, start-up enthusiasts and just about anybody interested in the idea of India. A lot to learn, a lot to emulate.

Ashank Desai

The Maverick Effect is an amazing window to entrepreneurship, NASSCOM and India’s IT Industry success. The extraordinary NASSCOM story from inception to global glory is indeed an engrossing account, with such a brilliant articulation that you cannot miss Harish's love, commitment, and great contribution to NASSCOM. There is so much to learn from his approach to life and business, which is based on perseverance, optimism and following spiritual wisdom.

The Maverick Effect is an amazing window to entrepreneurship, NASSCOM and India’s IT Industry success. The extraordinary NASSCOM story from inception to global glory is indeed an engrossing account, with such a brilliant articulation that you cannot miss Harish's love, commitment, and great contribution to NASSCOM. There is so much to learn from his approach to life and business, which is based on perseverance, optimism and following spiritual wisdom.

Atul Nishar

The Maverick effect is a fascinating narrative of Harish’s personal life & his work intertwined with the genesis of NASSCOM, the evolution of the IT industry, the Indian economy and our Nation; these being integral facets of his life. He effortlessly moves across these four different tangents constructing a captivating memoir which is such a pleasure to read. In lucid words, he brings out the inspiring work of the people he was associated with while building NASSCOM and the growth of the Indian IT industry. I have been extremely fortunate to have known him personally, to have been a part

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The Maverick effect is a fascinating narrative of Harish’s personal life & his work intertwined with the genesis of NASSCOM, the evolution of the IT industry, the Indian economy and our Nation; these being integral facets of his life. He effortlessly moves across these four different tangents constructing a captivating memoir which is such a pleasure to read. In lucid words, he brings out the inspiring work of the people he was associated with while building NASSCOM and the growth of the Indian IT industry. I have been extremely fortunate to have known him personally, to have been a part of the evolution of NASSCOM while running an IT business for 30 years and have perceived the nation and economy as an entrepreneur.

When NASSCOM was formed, the software export was around $100 m and the business was very difficult to sustain and operate. This has now grown to a staggering $150 b. Harish has quite methodically explained the manner in which NASSCOM went about eliminating the hurdles in the way of business and obtained Government buy-in by making them see the vision about the impact software export would have on the Indian economy.

NASSCOM started with a belief “Apna Time Aayega”. During the 80s, when the IT industry was at a nascent stage, our current account situation was appalling. The burning issues in the country were predominantly, foreign exchange crisis, educated unemployment and brain drain. We have come a long way since then. With the stupendous growth of the IT industry we are in a strong foreign exchange situation now and have created immense employment opportunities for the youth of the country. NASSCOM’s belief has thus culminated into reality. The brand India created by the IT industry has helped every single industry globally. All these aspects have been brilliantly articulated in his book.

The book can be used as a handbook by any industry player to build their industry in a similar manner, as long as the player has the same belief- Nation first.

I founded Hexaware Technologies in 1990 and had summarily joined NASSCOM. I have a first-hand account of the policy changes enabled by NASSCOM that helped Hexaware at every stage of its growth. Thereafter, I became the Chairman of NASSCOM in 1999-2000. I have seen Harish’s extraordinary commitment to NASSCOM and he was instrumental in ensuring that a diverse set of luminaries contributed fruitfully towards achieving a common objective. Irrespective of who the Chairman at NASSCOM was, Harish was always the conscience keeper, mentor and a trusted counsel. Having witnessed most of the anecdotes and facts interleaved in the book, it makes it an informative, inspiring and nostalgic read.

The book exquisitely illustrates the different facets of the wonderful human being that I am privileged to call a dear friend. At different times in the past 30 years of my association with him, I would have introduced him in different ways, but what remains consistent is his unparalleled wisdom and trustworthiness. He has relentlessly worked to improve himself with sheer hard work, dedication, sobriety, fair dealing and generosity at all times. He is the ultimate go-to person for his friends who fondly call him the “wise man”. Harish has been an Institution builder and has sincerely devoted substantial time and energy at an young age for a non-profit even when he has running a full-fledged business himself. This is extremely rare, unique and commendable.

Today India is unstoppable, entering into a golden era of growth. . We are on a trajectory of becoming a Global leader. I highly recommend this book to every single Indian citizen to understand how India has reached this pinnacle of success. It is a treasure house of inspiring stories that will make one extremely proud.

Debjani Ghosh

I am so glad that the story of India’s IT revolution and the role played by NASSCOM in powering it, is being told by the person who was at the centre of the revolution… the conductor who got together the entire industry to create the magic… Harish Mehta. I first heard this story at the NASSCOM offsite, as a member of the Executive Council. It's amazing how Harish Bhai narrated the camaraderie of a group of visionary leaders like Saurabh, Nandan, Ashank etc who got together to create an organization that would shape the roadmap to India’s success as a

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I am so glad that the story of India’s IT revolution and the role played by NASSCOM in powering it, is being told by the person who was at the centre of the revolution… the conductor who got together the entire industry to create the magic… Harish Mehta. I first heard this story at the NASSCOM offsite, as a member of the Executive Council. It's amazing how Harish Bhai narrated the camaraderie of a group of visionary leaders like Saurabh, Nandan, Ashank etc who got together to create an organization that would shape the roadmap to India’s success as a tech prowess on the global map, I remember having absolute goosebumps and thinking how wonderful it would be to work for an organisation that was chartered to create the future. Little did I know that in a year or so, I would be heading the organization and getting to work with some of the best leaders in the world to achieve our shared passion of making India the global tech hub for innovation and impact! To me, the story of Indiá’s IT revolution and NASSCOM, is about shared passion, it's about collaboration of the highest order and it's about a bigger interest.. of putting country and industry before company. It's about a timeless movement that will continue to strengthen and to grow India’s impact on the world.

At NASSCOM, we believe that the next ten years will be the decade of technology — or ‘Techade’ — and India is well poised to lead the era of digital economies with a focus on talent, secure and inclusive technology, and scalable impact. While the world woke up to the power of inclusive tech during the pandemic, India has been obsessively focused – even in the last few years - on ensuring that Digital India starts at the bottom of the pyramid. With Aadhar, the India Stack, and India’s Digital Public Goods Platformization strategy, India stands on one of the most robust and scalable foundations for the Digital Economy, fueling one of the largest digital transformations the world has ever seen, both in terms of inclusive scale and impact. Where else will you find 1.3 billion citizens with unique digital identities? Or for that matter, a digital platform such as CoWin that rolled out more than 500 million vaccines?

To me, therein lies the foundation for India’s playbook - to take on the role of creating the future where technology is about improving human lives. We are in a strong position to demonstrate to the world, HOW the power of technology can be our greatest equalizer.

Without a doubt, the future is about human-centric technology… and India is best placed to take the lead, and how? The trifecta of talent availability (1.2 million people digitally-trained), innovation capabilities, and the massive problems that the nation continues to solve through technology, are in effect enabling digital adoption, much faster. This path will take us to a 700 billion dollar opportunity (includes 200 billion dollars in savings) if we can sustain and improve upon this momentum.

This is our time, our Techade, and the strong foundation of collaboration we have built, as eloquently described by Harish Mehta, is exactly what is needed to achieve our dream… that, when the world thinks Digital, the world will Think India. The vision of realizing a 5 trillion dollar economy isn’t so distant after all.

Farzana Haque

Harish Mehta will inspire you.
He has had a ringside view of the phenomenon that is the Indian tech industry which is propelling India into superpower orbit.
This is an industry that has tapped into the latent creativity and entrepreneurial hunger of our people, proving that we have what it takes to compete with the best in the world.
India’ technology story is the precursor to the start-up revolution we are seeing now with the highest number of unicorn creation.
Sit back and enjoy the ride with one of the key players who has shaped the

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Harish Mehta will inspire you.
He has had a ringside view of the phenomenon that is the Indian tech industry which is propelling India into superpower orbit.
This is an industry that has tapped into the latent creativity and entrepreneurial hunger of our people, proving that we have what it takes to compete with the best in the world.
India’ technology story is the precursor to the start-up revolution we are seeing now with the highest number of unicorn creation.
Sit back and enjoy the ride with one of the key players who has shaped the Indian tech ecosystem.
This book is essential reading: on how a community is built, how collaborative working across companies creates a revolution, and how India is getting ready for a future as the intellectual capital of the world.

Ganesh Natarajan

It takes a benevolent maverick and a committed superstar to build an industry and the Harish Mehta- Dewang Mehta duo truly have been the pillars of a 200 billion dollar industry sector. This story had to be told and this book brings out all the super qualities of an amazing human endeavour and the processes, simplicity, approachability, innovation and most of all, inclusion and collaboration of the builders of Indian IT and NASSCOM. My own life and career success has been shaped by the two stars and Harish particularly has been a mentor in my corporate and industry leadership roles.

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It takes a benevolent maverick and a committed superstar to build an industry and the Harish Mehta- Dewang Mehta duo truly have been the pillars of a 200 billion dollar industry sector. This story had to be told and this book brings out all the super qualities of an amazing human endeavour and the processes, simplicity, approachability, innovation and most of all, inclusion and collaboration of the builders of Indian IT and NASSCOM. My own life and career success has been shaped by the two stars and Harish particularly has been a mentor in my corporate and industry leadership roles. I am sure this book will serve as a lighthouse to many and the next generation of technology leaders can find plenty of tips to build their careers and their lives.

Gopalaswami N

Harish Mehta’s The Maverick Effect is the pioneering work in institution building. The book brings out the commitment, passion of all working together for a greater cause in a competitive environment and benefits collectively all stakeholders. We in the pharma industry have certainly benefited from the experiences highlighted viz India first followed by industry and then company. The Indian Pharma industry demonstrated the same during Covid times with consistent availability of medicine to around 200 countries.

Thank you Mr. Harish Mehta for the inspiring work which is a learning for all. Harish Mehta’s ‘The Maverick Effect’ on

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Harish Mehta’s The Maverick Effect is the pioneering work in institution building. The book brings out the commitment, passion of all working together for a greater cause in a competitive environment and benefits collectively all stakeholders. We in the pharma industry have certainly benefited from the experiences highlighted viz India first followed by industry and then company. The Indian Pharma industry demonstrated the same during Covid times with consistent availability of medicine to around 200 countries.

Thank you Mr. Harish Mehta for the inspiring work which is a learning for all. Harish Mehta’s ‘The Maverick Effect’ on India’s IT Revolution is an excellent racy and unputdownable book. Transformation 2.0, his call for another revolution to turn India into an intellectual Capital or Knowledge Hub of the world is a must read for top policy makers and stakeholders both within the Government and outside. Mehta’s recapitulation of the Satyam Computer Services revival is fit to be mandated for inclusion in the course study material of IAS and other Civil Services training centres.

Harsh Manglik

If there is only one more sentence that you will read, then it should be this: Read this eminently interesting and engaging book – written in plain language without jargon – to obtain understanding and insights into one of the most amazing and consequential success phenomena that has come to define the new face of a confident and emergent India.

I have now known and worked with Harish bhai for almost two decades - initially as a respected industry colleague – and successful serial entrepreneur as founder of Onward, an angel investor, and of course for the

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If there is only one more sentence that you will read, then it should be this: Read this eminently interesting and engaging book – written in plain language without jargon – to obtain understanding and insights into one of the most amazing and consequential success phenomena that has come to define the new face of a confident and emergent India.

I have now known and worked with Harish bhai for almost two decades - initially as a respected industry colleague – and successful serial entrepreneur as founder of Onward, an angel investor, and of course for the contributions to NASSCOM. Then I got to know him even better during my tenure as Chairman NASSCOM, and now in his new avatar as an author. It is my privilege to call Harish bhai my friend.

Harish bhai (aka Harsh S Mehta, author of The Maverick Effect), is an icon of the Indian IT industry. But his role and contributions go way beyond what the term icon would typically convey - as we can see from his engaging and rich narrative in his book, tracing the evolution of the IT industry from a standing start to the global powerhouse it has become today.

Success has many fathers, as the saying goes. And the IT industry contains many admired leaders … icons … who have created new global companies, some large but also many smaller ones … yet all significant, innovative, and impactful … that have helped propel the IT industry’s evolution and add luster to the brand of the new emerging India.

In the amazing rise of this industry – from a “blink and miss it” speck to the global force it has become today - NASSCOM has played a critical role, by providing a trusted and credible industry platform, through which the industry could be heard with one voice. Indeed, if we were to try and imagine the Indian IT industry without NASSCOM and the critical role it has played (and continues to play), the scenario would be bleak.

Harish bhai saw the evolving need for some effective means of addressing shared problems and obstacles faced by this nascent industry. The need was to find ways to work with other like-minded people – creative, capable and passionate – to solve difficult problems. That is how the idea emerged for an industry platform, where otherwise fierce competitors could work together on addressing shared industry issues, beyond personal agendas.

Harish bhai was a leading visionary and one of the prime movers, untiring and persistent in his efforts, to assemble like-minded leaders who “got it” and shared the passion. This drive and focus on a larger purpose led to the creation of NASSCOM, the institution, and to its continuing evolution to what it has become today.

As NASSCOM evolved, so did its areas of primary focus. Key among these now include, One… focus on the continuing growth, health and vibrancy of the highly competitive and innovative IT industry; Two… work together as ambassadors for the industry with clients, governments and other key influencers around the world; Three… assist industry members with various thematic conferences, reports, analyses and industry perspectives, and training/education that could be of interest and value; Four… engage with society particularly in areas of education and skills development; empowerment of women and minorities; and to catalyze and support would-be entrepreneurs pursuing their dreams.

As evidence by that the contributions of NASSCOM and their value, today we are all aware of the stature, credibility, and respect that is associated with NASSCOM, as the face of the IT industry.

As Harish bhai explains in his book, the IT industry has boot-strapped itself up to its current state. Its policy recommendations have always been open and reasoned and in the broader interests of economic growth and of demonstrable benefit to society.

With such a credo and culture, the industry has not disappointed. As the book records, it has grown approximately 3,500-fold (in $ terms. In Rs terms the corresponding number is 10,000) over the last nearly 35 years, during which it has also successfully weathered several existential crises. The current industry size of $191 Billion (annual revenue) and 25,000 new hires in 2020, is quite a bit greater than the bold and gutsy projection of $1 Billion in a World Bank report, prepared after discussing with Harish bhai and his industry colleagues, back in 1991. Even those enthusiastic visionaries of that time could not have imagined the force they were unleashing!

The IT industry phenomenon has been regarded as an inspiring model to other potential growth industries and to nations also interested in leveraging their base of human talent.

The genius of Harish bhai - beyond his steadfast dedication even during the stages when his personal business interests, family obligations, as well as various other commitments such as TiE, would have demanded his total attention and commitment – has many dimensions. These include his prescient ability to recognize the potential of this industry; his vision and ability to spot like-minded people, especially leaders; his inclusive style and ability to enlist these leaders and help them coalesce around a shared larger purpose; and his guidance and ability to help the industry navigate many existential challenges. And then there is one more … just as important … his personal anchoring in deeply held philosophical values that shape the outlook of Harish S Mehta, the individual human being. The last was an important influence in his advocating the culture and ethos that Harish bhai and his fellow travelers created and nurtured for NASSCOM. It continues to be just as important today and for the future. This ethos and culture define the soul of NASSCOM.

For NASSCOM, continuing evolution must always be a part of its DNA. Evolution is necessary for retaining vitality and vigor, and of course relevance. This will require deep ongoing engagement by thoughtful leaders and respect for the moorings on which NASSCOM stands, in a spirit of stewardship. This too must remain part of NASSCOM’s DNA. Technology must and will always be a core strength for the IT industry. By bringing IT technology into the mainstream and demonstrating its relevance and potential for good, NASSCOM and its many “maverick” leaders have helped establish the value of technology as a game changer and created an important foundation for the future.

For the next stage, deployment of technology can play a critical role in bringing about many urgently needed transformations in India with speed and at scale. Such transformations, in almost all walks of life, will advance India’s human and economic agenda and advance society toward the future we want. However, it cannot be technology alone because technology is only a tool and provides an enabling platform. Transformations touch people and their lives. Sound design and execution must be based on an understanding of the people and their social systems and anticipate how people affected will see the change and how they will be impacted. System designers and technologists will need to understand the broader issues and work with people who can help build a more complete understanding and, with that, create strategies and plans for acceptance and success. Technologists will have to go beyond technology and non-technical people will have to learn to question technologists with confidence without feeling intimidated. The roles and contributions of both are important.

But we need to go beyond that. What that future should look like merits serious thinking, discussion and soul searching.

In my view, that discussion has to be centered on equitable human development, and what kind of social and societal conditions would constitute enlightened development that leads not only to prosperity and opportunity, but also dignity, personal freedoms and choice, equal justice for all and freedom from fear.

History has shown clearly that no societal system prospers, or even lasts, under conditions that violate the fundamentals of human dignity, choice and opportunity, justice, and freedom from fear.

Naturally that will also lead to the essential question of how our education and training system should work.

Our societal goal should be to develop the whole person who has the ability for critical thinking and arriving at conclusions and judgments independently. That will require a grounding in all foundational disciplines, that include not only mathematics and science but also the humanities and the social sciences. Their education should provide them a foundation for lifelong self-directed learning. Young people should have the opportunity to develop and explore their interests and should have the opportunity to change course as their interests change or evolve – this goes hand in hand with independent thinking and a spirit of curiosity. This would be the best guarantee for the vitality, creativity and resiliency of such a society.

The issue of course is what relevance does this have for the IT industry and for NASSCOM. In my view, participation in informed and open discussions – and energizing appropriate policies and action - are essential for the industry’s participation and contribution to societal progress. This makes the engagement of leaders and thinkers a critical requirement. The dramatic success of the IT industry is essentially driven by the growing educated middle class, even though the benefits have reached far beyond the middle class. This industry has catalyzed social mobility and helped spread a culture where aspiration is encouraged, and success is based on capability and attainment. This motivates people to learn and aspire because they see the connection of education and skills with their opportunities and success. The IT industry is the convincing proof point they see. Coming back to Harish bhai… There are many outstanding people who have made valuable contributions to the emergence of the IT industry and to the creation and nurturing of NASSCOM. But most of all there is a special place for Harish bhai for the profoundly important role he has played in this journey.

The hopes I have outlined above will require many leaders and thinkers to engage with the opportunities and challenges and contribute their talents – certainly many new leaders, as they emerge, and the torch is passed – but also the wisdom and counsel of people like Harish bhai and others who have shepherded the IT industry can provide valuable perspectives based on experience and reflection.

I view Harish bhai as the “Raj Guru” of the IT industry. (“Raj Guru” roughly translates to being the preceptor and wise mentor who guides the leadership toward the High Road and its essential values based True North of a larger aspiration for India).

Congratulations, Harish bhai, for writing this highly readable and important book. It will be an important historical document as it records the development of the Indian IT industry with fidelity. It offers important insights and obvious lessons learned that can help other emergent industries with a large future. Finally, it offers inspiration and encouragement to many young people who have similar dreams and aspire to bring them to fruition.

Keshav Murugesh

Gandhiji put Ìndia on the world map thru his philosophy and actions. Years later, India’s IT and BPM businesses caught the imagination of the world and created pride for Ìndia thru its impact on all global businesses.

This compelling book by the Father of Nasscom, Harish Mehta, tells the story of how India’s IT and BPM business was built painstakingly across decades through the spirit of trust and collaboration, co-creation with government and bringing all players to the same table even if they had different agendas.

Harish Bhai, the Founder of Nasscom, shares some

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Gandhiji put Ìndia on the world map thru his philosophy and actions. Years later, India’s IT and BPM businesses caught the imagination of the world and created pride for Ìndia thru its impact on all global businesses.

This compelling book by the Father of Nasscom, Harish Mehta, tells the story of how India’s IT and BPM business was built painstakingly across decades through the spirit of trust and collaboration, co-creation with government and bringing all players to the same table even if they had different agendas.

Harish Bhai, the Founder of Nasscom, shares some unique stories, situations the industry faced and the steps that went into building a $191 bill industry which is now the pride of Ìndia. It explains the unique role of Nasscom and its leaders in shaping the agenda for Indian Tech across the years that resulted in global acclaim. Harish Mehta is a very tall leader of the Industry, who always led Nasscom and industry initiatives from behind, painstakingly made notes across decades, sacrificed a lot personally, but rewarded us with this great book.

It should be a text book for all those interested in how Ìndia created this impact and how Ìndia will rule the roost for decades to come in the areas of tech services, startup creation and digital transformation of global and Indian businesses.

Kiran Karnik

Here (below) is my “short” comment (titled “Longer take…”!), for possible use in the book or elsewhere, if you see fit. I am also including two alternative brief endorsements, the kind that publishers like to use for general publicity or on book covers (typically it should be even shorter, and could be edited to be so).

I hope this meets what you may need. Please let me know if you need anything more/different.

Re-reading the book (and some parts many times), I thoroughly enjoyed it again. Congratulations on such a well-written book.

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Here (below) is my “short” comment (titled “Longer take…”!), for possible use in the book or elsewhere, if you see fit. I am also including two alternative brief endorsements, the kind that publishers like to use for general publicity or on book covers (typically it should be even shorter, and could be edited to be so).

I hope this meets what you may need. Please let me know if you need anything more/different.

Re-reading the book (and some parts many times), I thoroughly enjoyed it again. Congratulations on such a well-written book.

I must share that your personal saga deeply moved me. I knew some, but not all, of it. Truly astounding how you managed to do such great and dedicated work despite this.

Are you planning a big-bang release? Do let me know.

Brief endorsement
Harish Mehta, in a tale so well told, takes you on a journey down memory lane, beginning from the India of half a century ago, to today. This fascinating story, combining a personal saga with the evolution of the IT industry and of NASSCOM, is set against the backdrop of the changing economic landscape. Enriched and enlivened by many anecdotes, it provides rare glimpses into the personalities of some leaders.

To anyone interested in IT, in building industry associations, and in recent business history of the tech sector, this is a must-read book. It is also an amazing story of individual fortitude and may well interest anyone who seeks guidance in the face of tragic circumstances.

An alternative (and slightly shorter) endorsement
Harish Mehta, founder of NASSCOM and a doyen of the IT industry, tells a fascinating tale of how they evolved to their present heights. Enriched and enlivened by anecdotes and deep insights, it provides a ring-side view of events and personalities that shaped the industry. Interwoven with a personal saga of tremendous bravery amidst adversity and overlaid on the background of India’s changing economic policies, this book is a must-read for anyone connected with the industry or with industry associations.

A longer version.
I believe in the power of stories”. This book exemplifies that: it tells a story that so very powerfully brings out the phenomenal success of India’s IT industry, and the role of NASSCOM in this. India’s IT software and services industry is now a USD 200 billion behemoth, probably India’s biggest net foreign exchange earner, employing 4 million directly and ensuring livelihoods to over 10 million. More broadly, it has been instrumental in establishing a new brand image for other services and goods exported from India, which ride on IT’s credibility in delivering high quality and on schedule. In the process, it has transformed the image of India and Indians in countries abroad, raising respect and giving a new sheen to both. Most importantly, it has furthered and channelized the innovative abilities of Indians, making the country a start-up super-power, even as it has provided hope to many millions of youth about the possibility of getting well-paid, satisfying jobs, purely on the basis of merit and capability. This book takes the reader on a fascinating journey from the early days of the IT industry (when, as Harish narrates, hardly anyone in India knew what “software” was; certainly, it was not something to be paid for!) to today.

Harish provides many insights into not merely the creation and difficult early years of NASSCOM, but also into its working and ethos. Compete, but collaborate has been its mantra for members, and “India first '' has been a long-standing philosophy. He highlights how its data-driven and evidence-based approach has won it respect and credibility, even as incidents narrated by him point to its integrity and professionalism. It has, as he says even in the book title, now become a movement.

“Mavericks…” is an appropriate title for the book: that is what the founders of NASSCOM were, as were many of the early pioneers of IT services and software industry. The best exemplar is Harish himself - one of the key founders of NASSCOM (and Chair of the Council comprising all former Chairpersons) and a stalwart of the IT industry for over four decades. Few are better qualified than him to tell this story, and he does so with such skill that one is riveted. He captures in a very readable style not only the history of the IT industry and of NASSCOM, but also provides glimpses of the evolution of India’s economic policy as the backdrop.

The numerous anecdotes in the book enrich it and engage the reader. More importantly, they add to the understanding of events and give us glimpses into the personalities of many of the key players involved. Harish devotes a chapter to tell us more about the charismatic and iconic Dewang Mehta, former President of NASSCOM. Dewang for all his showmanship and swashbuckling style was a very hard-working and detail-driven leader as Harish brings out. He built the brand of a small and unknown industry body into an overwhelming presence, riding on and simultaneously drawing from the growth of the IT industry. Harish was not only Dewang’s mentor and guide, but also probably his closest friend; even so, he gives us a very fair and balanced picture of this colourful personality. Interestingly, one sees hints about how fame and acclaim can bloat one’s ego and constrain the consultation, partnership and consensus-building that an industry association necessarily requires. Few, if any, could have provided these deep insights into the personality of a leader who was instrumental in positioning NASSCOM at centre-stage both in India and globally. It says a lot about Harish and other leaders of NASSCOM that after Dewang’s sad and untimely death, they consciously chose a leader with a rather different personality. In another possible allusion to a “personality cult”, Harish brings in elsewhere a quote from the visionary who planted the seed of the European Union, Jean Monnet: “Nothing is possible without men, but nothing lasts without institutions”. This underlines what he has been trying to do and what NASSCOM represents.

The book begins with Harish’s own journey. His work and various transitions in his professional career – from employee to entrepreneur to coach and mentor – reflect also the stages and maturity of IT in India. Amidst the many ups and downs that face his business are some unfair deals, but clearly he holds no grudges or bitterness against those who let him down. Despite the time and mind-space constraints of an entrepreneur, it is amazing that he finds it possible to devote so much energy and effort in creating and then nurturing NASSCOM. It is truly remarkable that he continues to do so with the same passion even today, as is clear from the book. An important lesson is that it is not only his dedication and commitment to NASSCOM that is important, but how – especially in the early years, but even now – he is able to work with others and cajole them to “join the caravan” (to paraphrase his words).

To me, what is absolutely fascinating is the story of the author’s personal life. It is marked with many tragic events that seem to occur at regular intervals and numerous difficulties. Yet, he soldiers on, not letting this affect his professional work or his voluntary work for NASSCOM (and later for TiE). It is unbelievable that one who is ever-smiling, so jovial and amiable could have suffered so many tragedies. There is extra-ordinary learning here in how to cope and face life’s difficulties.

Through the book, Harish commends the principle of “India first”, be it for an individual company or – and especially for – an industry association. As he emphasises, at the end of the day, this is in the enlightened self-interest of all concerned. This extends to looking beyond your nose. Harish cites examples like NASSCOM supporting the entry of MNCs, 100% FDI in companies, and the battle for bandwidth, through the slogan of Roti, Kapda, Makaan aur bandwidth. It would be well for all industry associations to ponder over these issues. The book’s last chapter looks ahead and outlines the crucial role of digital technology across sectors, and the important role that NASSCOM needs to continue playing in larger national concerns.

Can technology solve all problems and is it the silver bullet? One knows it is not so, as does Harish, despite his own powerful arguments about its role. Certainly, social, cultural and political factors are key determinants of our future; doubtless, though, these too will be affected by technology in a two-way interplay of forces. This book does not delve into this, and clearly that is not its intention. It tells the tale of a game-changer for India: IT software, services and allied areas, and the driver of this sector – NASSCOM. In some sense this is a book on contemporary business history too, focussing on the IT industry. It is also a personal saga of one individual – an “NRI” who returned home - who has created more than he could have imagined and is yet contributing actively to its further evolution. Whether or not you are linked to the IT industry, this is a book that is well worth reading.

Lakshmi Narayanan

NASSCOM is an institution that continues to glue the industry players, big and small, together such that each new generation of companies outclasses the previous. The creator of this powerful glue, which can only be created by a maverick, is Dewang Mehta. Just as the member companies of this community outdo their predecessors, NASSCOM Mavericks have also outdone the precious mavericks. One such maverick, Harishbhai, has brought out so lucidly what makes for success and how the glue of the industry has become even more sticky. A lesson in building an inclusive group with only a common purpose and no

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NASSCOM is an institution that continues to glue the industry players, big and small, together such that each new generation of companies outclasses the previous. The creator of this powerful glue, which can only be created by a maverick, is Dewang Mehta. Just as the member companies of this community outdo their predecessors, NASSCOM Mavericks have also outdone the precious mavericks. One such maverick, Harishbhai, has brought out so lucidly what makes for success and how the glue of the industry has become even more sticky. A lesson in building an inclusive group with only a common purpose and no individual agenda. A great read.

Dr. Deepak Phatak

From The Eyes of Another Maverick
When I first read the Maverick effect, the exhilarating feelings invoked were those of awe and admiration.

Awe, because of the vastness of the canvas painted. It is not just about NASSCOM, nor it is just about Harish Mehta, his family and their ventures. It is about a beautiful journey undertaken to realize a larger cause, a larger national dream. It is about the millions of problems faced on the way, and the resolution of each of those problems through wise diplomacy and resolute action. It is about bringing a

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From The Eyes of Another Maverick
When I first read the Maverick effect, the exhilarating feelings invoked were those of awe and admiration.

Awe, because of the vastness of the canvas painted. It is not just about NASSCOM, nor it is just about Harish Mehta, his family and their ventures. It is about a beautiful journey undertaken to realize a larger cause, a larger national dream. It is about the millions of problems faced on the way, and the resolution of each of those problems through wise diplomacy and resolute action. It is about bringing a large number of industry stalwarts together, each of whom was a tall figure and has “been there and done that”. Most of all, it is about identifying the maverick sentiment in the minds and hearts of several similar outliers, and accentuating that spirit collaboratively, to have a nationwide impact on an entire industry. It is about the evolutionary journey of an industry, which the world initially ignored as being too small and too inconsequential, and of bringing it to a level where global businesses now count upon it to provide solutions for their own digital transformation.

Admiration, because the man who scripted this history with several like minded people has written it in an amazingly human way. The narrative brings out this exciting history as a gripping story, camouflaging his extensive background research that went into collecting its detailed facts. The switch between NASSCOM, the organization, and Harish Mehta, the individual, happens in a very natural way throughout the book, illustrating their inseparability. The real admiration is because the book invokes the desire for continued action in the minds of the gen-next. Indeed, nothing would please a teacher more than to see such a subtle and at the same time, a not-so-subtle reminder for continued action that goes out to millions of Indian youngsters who are now contributing to this industry.

Among the teaching community, I am considered a bit of a maverick myself. Maybe that is why I can relate to the larger spirit of the book whole-heartedly. Of course, the maverick similarities between us end quickly. A teacher has an uncanny advantage of being able to bask in reflected glory. When our students post extraordinary achievements in the real world, it is assumed that we must have done something useful. An industry maverick has to build things individually, bit by bit and byte by byte. Nevertheless, what an immense pleasure it is for this teacher, to read the narrative of how the IT industry is now doing things terabyte by terabyte, and is poised to do so exabyte by exabyte in the coming decades.

I have had the privilege of knowing Harish and his family quite intimately for many decades now. I must honestly admit that I could never foresee his authoring abilities in all these decades. I have also had the privilege of seeing NASSCOM grow. If I were to write about either, it would take volumes. If I were to write in detail about this book itself, the task would necessitate writing another book. It suffices to say that this book must be read by the young and old, by one and all in the Indian IT industry. It is a must read for all students in our entire higher education segment, in order to be motivated to script the future of this great nation that is on the rise.

This teacher is delighted to salute the maverick for so ably illuminating the path.

Mr. Deepak S Parekh

Dear Harish,

Thank you for sending across the wonderfully written book, “The Maverick Effect – The Inside Story of a Movement that Shaped India’s IT Revolution.” I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and was impressed with the way you were able to chronicle the evolution of NASSCOM over the years. Not many are aware of the courage it took to set up NASSCOM and how it has hugely influenced the IT sector. As mentioned in the book, NASSCOM has impacted over 100 regulations.

What I thought was interesting was that you were able to juxtapose

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Dear Harish,

Thank you for sending across the wonderfully written book, “The Maverick Effect – The Inside Story of a Movement that Shaped India’s IT Revolution.” I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and was impressed with the way you were able to chronicle the evolution of NASSCOM over the years. Not many are aware of the courage it took to set up NASSCOM and how it has hugely influenced the IT sector. As mentioned in the book, NASSCOM has impacted over 100 regulations.

What I thought was interesting was that you were able to juxtapose India’s balance of payment crisis and the subsequent economic liberalisation in the early 1990s with the critical role NASSCOM played in ensuring that India grabbed the immense opportunities in the IT sector. Indeed, I was bemused as well as astonished to find out the preconceived notions the regulators had about software outsourcing services during the initial days. Understandably, overcoming these prejudices was no easy task. Today, thanks to the efforts of NASSCOM, (and as mentioned in the book) the IT services revenue has grown from US$ 52 million in 1988 to US$ 154 billion in 2017 – a 10,000 times growth in less than 30 years. In fact, the IT sector has been a beacon of light for the Indian economy during the Covid-19 crisis.

As you rightly noted, the reason for NASSCOM’s success was that there was a personal agenda and that competing entities collaborated for a greater cause. I particularly liked the quote in the book, “nothing is possible without men, but nothing lasts without institutions.”

Among the several successful interventions by NASSCOM on a range of issues such as Y2K, software technology parks of India (STPI), intellectual property, international standards, affordable internet charges, and cross border taxation policies, I was particularly keen to read the chapter on Satyam, since I had been involved in this particular case. You have been able to capture the magnitude of the crisis. Satyam’s downfall had led the IT sector to a precipice. Personally, Satyam was undisputedly one of the hardest and most daunting challenges, but all the government appointed directors including myself unanimously agreed that the resolution of this experience was by far the most rewarding.

I am happy to know that NASSCOM is gearing up for the future. From what I could cull out from the book, I believe that technology infrastructure specifically focused on enabling quality education (including skilling) and healthcare systems, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity and promoting home grown talent to enable the development of world-class technology products are going to be some of the game changers for India in the coming years.

My heartiest congratulations on The Maverick Effect. As requested, please find below my testimonial for the book.

“Harish Mehta has documented an important story on the inception and journey of NASSCOM.

In this exceptionally written book, Harish provides his unique insights on the tireless efforts it took to set up NASSCOM. The author does not shy away from honestly disclosing the personal trials and tribulations he went through, which in no way deterred his endeavour to ensure that the IT revolution took place in India. For many readers, it will be a revelation to discover the pivotal role of NASSCOM in enhancing the IT sector’s global brand image and in helping create the great Indian middle class. Backed by facts and figures, Harish makes a strong case about how the IT sector became deeply interlinked with the growth of the Indian economy. Today, thanks to the catalyst NASSCOM, India has a 36% share of the global BPO market.

The book is deeply engrossing as it is full of anecdotes and amusing accounts about the various interactions that Harish and the NASSCOM have had with various stakeholders. Harish lucidly explains what NASSCOM does, what it stands for, the strategies it adopted and how it has kept reinventing itself over the years without compromising on its strong values. It is good to know that India’s IT industry is in the safe hands of NASSCOM and under its guidance will surely foray into a future of enormous possibilities. I highly recommend Maverick Effect particularly for the innumerable initiatives NASSCOM was involved with - these make for wonderful business case studies.”

Well done my friend!

Namita Thapar

The technology industry has truly transformed our country. Exports of $ 52 million in 80’s to $ 154 billion in 2017 says it all ! NASSCOM has played a significant role in this journey by bringing together tech leaders to support each other & help the government in policy shaping. Mr Harish Mehta has beautifully captured this journey & additionally also outlined his future vision for India as a Smart Nation. At s personal level, he is a compassionate leader who has given time & guidance to gen next like me (by helping me with my passion project - my

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The technology industry has truly transformed our country. Exports of $ 52 million in 80’s to $ 154 billion in 2017 says it all ! NASSCOM has played a significant role in this journey by bringing together tech leaders to support each other & help the government in policy shaping. Mr Harish Mehta has beautifully captured this journey & additionally also outlined his future vision for India as a Smart Nation. At s personal level, he is a compassionate leader who has given time & guidance to gen next like me (by helping me with my passion project - my entrepreneurship academy). Rarely does one come across a leader so brilliant yet so grounded and humble.

Nandan Nilekani

In this engrossing book, Harish Mehta deftly interleaves his personal memoirs with the rise of India’s software industry. Most importantly, he gives the hitherto untold tale of the amazing software association NASSCOM, where fierce competitors worked collaboratively together to shape the future of an industry that created millions of jobs, solved the foreign exchange crisis and put Indian enterprise and technology on the world stage!

In this engrossing book, Harish Mehta deftly interleaves his personal memoirs with the rise of India’s software industry. Most importantly, he gives the hitherto untold tale of the amazing software association NASSCOM, where fierce competitors worked collaboratively together to shape the future of an industry that created millions of jobs, solved the foreign exchange crisis and put Indian enterprise and technology on the world stage!

N.R Narayana Murthy

The Maverick Effect is an absorbing book that brings out the story of NASSCOM, and the life story of Harish Mehta. It is a definitive and authoritative biography of NASSCOM as recounted by one who led the creation of NASSCOM in 1988 and has been nurturing it like his precious child even after 33 years to the day. I am told that every event has been verified with data and facts due to Harish's penchant for veracity and accuracy. Future historians will rely on this work when they do research on the role of NASSCOM in removing the bureaucratic hurdles

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The Maverick Effect is an absorbing book that brings out the story of NASSCOM, and the life story of Harish Mehta. It is a definitive and authoritative biography of NASSCOM as recounted by one who led the creation of NASSCOM in 1988 and has been nurturing it like his precious child even after 33 years to the day. I am told that every event has been verified with data and facts due to Harish's penchant for veracity and accuracy. Future historians will rely on this work when they do research on the role of NASSCOM in removing the bureaucratic hurdles during the initial years of the software services industry in India.

The first time I met Harish was in 1979 when I took Late Sri Ghanashyam Gupta, a friend of mine, to meet him. Ghanashyam wanted to establish a data centre in Chennai based on a VAX 11/750 computer from Digital Equipment Corporation. Harish was kind, courteous, generous and open-minded to share the nuances of running a successful data centre. That kindness, that infectious enthusiasm and the courtesy to help entrepreneurs has remained undiminished and shining in Harish even today.

NASSCOM is an organization of mavericks. It is an unlikely alliance. NASSCOM was incubated at a time when it was an uphill battle to even get software recognised as a tangible product or a service, and something different from computer hardware! NASSCOM had to fight deep-seated prejudices in an environment rife with suspicion. The ecosystem did not offer the infrastructure needed to create a software services business. The entrepreneurs had to remain patient and lay the groundwork for the future.

The impact that the software services industry has had on the nation has been phenomenal. The industry brought a new ethos to the country. Member companies of NASSCOM embraced competition and meritocracy. They leveraged innovation and strive hard for laudable performance in global markets. They operated as equal opportunities employers. They are benchmarked with the best global standards of governance. They focused on transparency in financial reporting. Such a mindset had simply not existed in India till then. The rapid growth of NASSCOM member companies also created huge employment opportunities for youngsters from the tier-2 and tier-3 towns.

I came into NASSCOM in 1989, thanks to the generosity of my colleague, Nandan Nilekani. He suggested that I should take his position and add value to NASSCOM. Nandan is a deep and strategic thinker. I found it wise to accept his suggestions at Infosys. I stood for election to the executive council (EC) in 1990 and was elected. My colleagues on the EC were kind to choose me as the vice president (now titled vice-chairperson) when they chose Harish as the president (nor titled chairperson) for a two-year term starting in 1990. I succeeded Harish as the president of NASSCOM for a two-year term in 1992.

The book starts with the decision of Harish and his wife, Shaila, to come back to their homeland and serve their country. The book is a riveting narration of his effort to achieve the plausible impossible, his stoic nature to bear the loss of his first-born child and his beloved wife, his tête-à-tête encounters with the realities of life in India of the last fifty years, his hard work, determination, patience and optimism to found and nurture institutions like NASSCOM and TIE, his conviviality to bring peace between conflicting personalities, and his untiring egotistical get the best out of a well-meaning, aspirational, hyperactive and ultra-ambitious Dewang Mehta. I am not sure if anybody else had a ringside seat that Harish has in witnessing the birth and the growing up of NASSCOM like he has. We should be grateful to him for this detailed and honest account.

Harish paints a realistic picture of Dewang both as a professional and as a human being in detail in the book. He gives Dewang huge credit for making NASSCOM the authentic voice of the industry. I agree with Harish. An honor roll for NASSCOM would have Dewang’s name up there. It would also have Harish’s name and the names of the other founding members like Nandan Nilekani, Ashank Desai, K V Ramani, Vijay Srirangan and Saurabh Srivastava.

Over the years, I have enjoyed every mini of my time with Harish. I have learnt so much from him. Even now, whenever I am in Mumbai, Harish, Ashank and I spend 3 to 4 hours over an enjoyable dinner at Copper Chimney. Ramani joins us when his visit dates to Mumbai coincide with my dates.

NASSCOM has been a catalytic co-opetition platform that has worked hard to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks for its companies to grow at an impressive rate. NASSCOM has demonstrated that two fiercely competing companies in the marketplace can work together on a co-opetition platform in a friendly environment to identify and solve supra-company issues. NASSCOM is also a good example of creating a win-win and hospitable platform for both Indian companies and multinational companies. I hope other industry-associations use these lessons of NASSCOM and work in a co-opetition mode to accelerate the growth of our economy.

In my opinion, the biggest challenge over the next few decades for our country is whether we, Indians, can develop a culture of aspiration, national pride, benchmarking with the global best, discipline, meritocracy, hard work, quality, productivity, honesty, open-mindedness, pluralism, humility, openness to learn from people better than us, and other attributes needed for India to join the group of developed countries.

This challenge sounds audacious. My belief and fond desire is that this book, The Maverick Effect, will serve as a searchlight in this seminal and arduous task.

Bangalore

December 17, 2021

N.Chandrasekaran

A decade ago, I served as chairman of NASSCOM, the pioneering industry body that represents India’s tech leaders and entrepreneurs. I had the opportunity, on a project to restructure the organisation for the new challenges of the age.

I saw first hand how ambitious he is for NASSCOM, and the energy and creativity he put into making sure those ambitions are realised. Determined yet friendly, Harish is unifier. He rallied around India’s tech leaders to work together and built a credible relationship with everyone of them.As a veteran of the sector, I know that it is not

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A decade ago, I served as chairman of NASSCOM, the pioneering industry body that represents India’s tech leaders and entrepreneurs. I had the opportunity, on a project to restructure the organisation for the new challenges of the age.

I saw first hand how ambitious he is for NASSCOM, and the energy and creativity he put into making sure those ambitions are realised. Determined yet friendly, Harish is unifier. He rallied around India’s tech leaders to work together and built a credible relationship with everyone of them.As a veteran of the sector, I know that it is not an easy task. Through NASSCOM, whose vision and history he brilliantly chronicles in these pages, Harish has been one of the great champions of Indian technology.

Founded in 1988, three years before the liberalisation of the Indian economy, NASSCOM was the product of a country that was changing. India, which for decades had loped behind its local rivals, finally began catching up. Millions were lifted out of poverty.And aspirational middle class grew. Many more women entered the workforce and experienced a new freedom as a result. The technology played no small part in this transformation and NASSCOM was at the heart of it all. I did not hesitate to write, in fact, that NASSCOM was essential.

The story of Harish Mehta, told in these pages, is a parable of our shared homeland. Returning to India from the United States in the 1970s, he was the force that brought together a generation of tech entrepreneurs prepared to challenge old certainties and dream big dreams. At the time, the Indian software industry was virtually nonexistent. In the late 1980s, it’s combined exports amounted to a measly $52 million. By 2017, I am happy to say, that figure is some 10,000 times higher at $154 billion.

The role played by NASSCOM in this achievement is the story of this book. NASSCOM educated the Indian government about technology at a time when, as Harish vividly writes, the entire industries bandwidth was equal to what an Indian teenager burns through a in weekend today. NASSCOM challenged outdated stereotypes about the Indian tech industry, too, assuring in an age when Indian software engineers are coveted the world over and now leads some of its biggest tech companies. Perhaps most importantly, NASSCOM provided a platform where tech leaders could work together for the common good. Amid India’s heady growth in the 1990s and 2000s and the intense competition of this time, this was no mean feat.

The publication of this book is particularly timely given the disruptions of the past 2 years. Spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, India is entering a new phase in its development. Millions if Indians now use technology to work from home and keep in touch with friends and family. Technology has become crucial to our daily lives in a way that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.

The pandemic also exposed the ways in which India must change. In this book, Harish describes his vision for India as a “Smart Nation”. This is an India with cleaner air, more equitable distribution of resources, and greater prosperity for all. It is a country with better access to education and to healthcare and where government decision-making is powered by evidence and data. It is a country where the life quality of the average citizen is among the top five countries in the world, where the literacy rate is 100% and where we are among the best places in the world to do business.

We have some way to go. Today, too many Indians lack access to basic services like healthcare and education. We have too few doctors and teachers and not enough schools and hospitals. At the same time, we have a massive jobs challenge. This decade alone, 90 million young people in India will reach working age, four times the number in the United States, Brazil and Indonesia combined. Our current economy, which lacks formal employment opportunities with regular pay and other benefits, threatens to frustrate and disappoint them.

As I laid out in my own book, Bridgital Nation, technology will be critical to the solution, creating new jobs, improving access to public services and creating new opportunities for the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs. It has the potential to transform India, for everyone: young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural. But ensuring that new technology serves the national interest demands that our industry pulls together as one.

Three decades ago, NASSCOM had a vision for India’s fledgling tech industry. In bringing it to fruition, the lives of millions were improved and the destiny of our country was transformed. Today, we need to create a new vision for the coming decades. Should anyone today want to learn how such a feat can be achieved, they will find no shortage of inspiration in the pages of this book.

Pravin Rao

The Maverick effect is a must-read, inspirational account of one of the greatest success stories of modern India – the Indian IT Industry – and the seminal role played by NASSCOM and the earliest IT entrepreneurs in overcoming many obstacles, shaping enabling policies, that propelled the growth of the industry. In this book, perhaps the first comprehensive book about NASSCOM, Harish Mehta chronicles his and NASSCOM journey in a direct, compelling, and engaging manner. Book is filled with stories of extraordinary courage, personal sacrifices, determination, perseverance, out of the box and unconventional thinking (fashion shows to elephants crushing pirated CDs)

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The Maverick effect is a must-read, inspirational account of one of the greatest success stories of modern India – the Indian IT Industry – and the seminal role played by NASSCOM and the earliest IT entrepreneurs in overcoming many obstacles, shaping enabling policies, that propelled the growth of the industry. In this book, perhaps the first comprehensive book about NASSCOM, Harish Mehta chronicles his and NASSCOM journey in a direct, compelling, and engaging manner. Book is filled with stories of extraordinary courage, personal sacrifices, determination, perseverance, out of the box and unconventional thinking (fashion shows to elephants crushing pirated CDs) and sheer will power. The Book also highlights the key role played by Dewang Mehta in laying the foundation. Who better than Harish Mehta, one of the Founders of NASSCOM, to tell us about it.

Success of the IT industry changed the way the world perceived India – from a land of snake charmers to a nation of smart and IT savvy people – and inspired the entire nation. It has brought in global standards, practices and has had a huge impact on culture, economy and society. It has inspired the next generation of entrepreneurs too.

NASSCOM story based on meritocracy, India first, inclusivity, working collaboratively with Govt, Bureaucracy, other stakeholders with respect and mutual trust and its core values of “no personal agenda”, “collaborate and compete” and “practising a growth mindset” is a blueprint which other associations can use for success in today’s complex and rapidly changing world.

Harish Mehta also lays out, very passionately, his own vision for tech-enabled social transformation of India from a developing nation to a developed one and uplifting the quality of life for fellow Indians along the way.

Having served this Industry for over 35 years, I am very proud to be part of the history and I would strongly recommend every IT practitioner to read this book and draw inspiration.

Raj Nair

If you want to understand how altruism works in business better than narrow self-interest, read this book. It is about the birth and growth of NASSCOM into a hugely successful industry body through enlightened self-interest and is not just about the personal journey of the author and all those who he walked with, to build colossal and globally admired industry, one step at a time. It is an account of how India’s prowess in IT was built from scratch by creating a vision of India leading the world and creating an industry body unlike any other, past or present, with

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If you want to understand how altruism works in business better than narrow self-interest, read this book. It is about the birth and growth of NASSCOM into a hugely successful industry body through enlightened self-interest and is not just about the personal journey of the author and all those who he walked with, to build colossal and globally admired industry, one step at a time. It is an account of how India’s prowess in IT was built from scratch by creating a vision of India leading the world and creating an industry body unlike any other, past or present, with focus on India’s interests and not on that of individual member companies. It is counter intuitive to position an industry body as not as one to lobby with the Government for lollies, which is the standard approach taken by industry bodies the world over.

Harish Mehta’s narrative shows how it is possible for any association of business people to dream of a big future for their industry even when there is not even a foundation on the ground, when the environment is less than business friendly, the Government has been traditionally suspicious of business and when CEOs of businesses are trained to think that their commitment to their company should almost crowd out their commitment to their industry body. Harish Mehta blends his personal story with NASSCOM’s journey and peppers it with anecdotes involving real people so well that it makes the book come alive.

There is something for all types of readers. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is trying to grow one’s business through the collective strength of fellow business people by creating an effective business body (or more likely, trying to rejuvenate a moribund one) or if you are a government functionary in any country, tasked with making global industry around the comparative advantage which your country possesses, you can script a step-by-step solution by understanding what Harish has written. Dream big, act without self-interest and persevere, says the author. I do hope that Harish’s end goal is to spread a message and not to merely author a delightful book. This book has enough content to create a series of individual videos which will be viewed by millions of people around the world.

Rajan Anandan

Congratulations Harish bhai on a wonderful full book that is engaging, informative and inspiring!

India's start-up ecosystem is now entering a new phase of evolution. As our ecosystem transitions from starting up to scaling up, we need to learn from the extraordinary journey of the Indian IT services industry. This incredibly engaging and riveting book by Harish bhai walks us through his personal journey as an entrepreneur, the story of NASSCOM from formation to becoming the most influential voice in Indian tech, and the rise of the Indian IT services industry from $50m revenues 30 years ago

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Congratulations Harish bhai on a wonderful full book that is engaging, informative and inspiring!

India's start-up ecosystem is now entering a new phase of evolution. As our ecosystem transitions from starting up to scaling up, we need to learn from the extraordinary journey of the Indian IT services industry. This incredibly engaging and riveting book by Harish bhai walks us through his personal journey as an entrepreneur, the story of NASSCOM from formation to becoming the most influential voice in Indian tech, and the rise of the Indian IT services industry from $50m revenues 30 years ago to $200B today.

Having served on the NASSCOM Executive Council for 8 years I directly saw the missionary and collaborative zeal of the founding members of NASSCOM including Harish bhai, the obsessive focus on always doing what is right for India, and the extraordinary influence of NASSCOM on the Indian technology landscape. This book has many lessons for our current generation of entrepreneurs, the most important of which is the need to always think beyond your own company and collaborate with others to shape an industry. This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the story of Indian Technology and the amazing things one can achieve when you set your mind to it.

Rajiv Kumar

The Maverick Effect’ is a fascinating account of the birth, growth and blossoming of the software industry in India. Harish Mehta who devoted the better part of his professional career to this cause, brings together the incredible contribution of this industry to not only Indian economic growth but also to refurbishing India’s global image. Today software accounts for more than 8% of India’s $2 trillion dollar economy. It directly employs nearly 5 million people with another 25 million indirectly working for it. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that ITES has played a dominant role in the emergence of

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The Maverick Effect’ is a fascinating account of the birth, growth and blossoming of the software industry in India. Harish Mehta who devoted the better part of his professional career to this cause, brings together the incredible contribution of this industry to not only Indian economic growth but also to refurbishing India’s global image. Today software accounts for more than 8% of India’s $2 trillion dollar economy. It directly employs nearly 5 million people with another 25 million indirectly working for it. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that ITES has played a dominant role in the emergence of the Indian middle class.

The digital revolution now driving India started with Harish and his glorious band of founders of NASSCOM. They created an incomparable organization with its creed of ‘compete, collaborate and cooperate’ across the entire industry. This sensitively written autobiography is essential reading for observers of the software industry in India. It is a must also for those who wish to make their industry organizations worthy of the policy makers’ trust by making individual firm profit maximisation subservient to national interests. NASSCOM has achieved it and so can others.

Ramdeo Agrawal

I am thrilled by reading this book which brilliantly captures the story of NASSCOM, Indian IT and the contribution of Harish Mehta and Dewang Mehta in shaping it.

Indian IT is the biggest value migration story, which I call, "from Boston to Bengaluru". Clients came to India for the lower cost, but stayed back for quality, scale and talent.

NASSCOM’s contribution in creating a constructive regulatory environment and right competitive spirit led to creation of an export machine earning a trillion dollars to date, creating millions of jobs, and above all, respect and identity

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I am thrilled by reading this book which brilliantly captures the story of NASSCOM, Indian IT and the contribution of Harish Mehta and Dewang Mehta in shaping it.

Indian IT is the biggest value migration story, which I call, "from Boston to Bengaluru". Clients came to India for the lower cost, but stayed back for quality, scale and talent.

NASSCOM’s contribution in creating a constructive regulatory environment and right competitive spirit led to creation of an export machine earning a trillion dollars to date, creating millions of jobs, and above all, respect and identity for Indians globally.

Values, corporate governance and transparency of Indian IT companies raised the standards for every other listed company.

The NASSCOM story is a shining example of what an industry association can do for itself, the country and the whole world.

The future belongs to data, design and digital.

Thanks to NASSCOM powered Indian IT, we can emerge as the talent powerhouse of the world, lifting India from developing to developed nation.

May God give India few more Harish’s and Dewang’s to create many NASSCOM’s.

This book is a must read for analysts, policy makers, regulators and all nation builders who are interested in the story of NASSCOM and Indian IT straight from a passionate founder Harish Mehta.

Rekha Menon

The Indian IT industry commands a central place in the global innovation ecosystem and NASSCOM has played a critical role in shaping and accelerating its evolution. As the founding member of NASSCOM, Harish Bhai played a pivotal role in envisioning the future of the industry and creating a roadmap for growth. The Maverick Effect offers an insightful account of this journey that transformed the fortunes of our nation and catalyzed the aspirations of millions.

The Indian IT industry commands a central place in the global innovation ecosystem and NASSCOM has played a critical role in shaping and accelerating its evolution. As the founding member of NASSCOM, Harish Bhai played a pivotal role in envisioning the future of the industry and creating a roadmap for growth. The Maverick Effect offers an insightful account of this journey that transformed the fortunes of our nation and catalyzed the aspirations of millions.

Rishad Premji

This is a book written straight from the heart. Harish has written a bold and insightful account of the making of one of our Industry’s most successful associations – NASSCOM. As a founding member of NASSCOM, and an entrepreneur, Harish offers an inside account of the growth of the Indian IT industry and the crucial role NASSCOM played in it. It is also a deeply moving memoir of Harish’s life – despite its many personal setbacks – Harish retains his equanimity. There’s much to learn from him.

This is a book written straight from the heart. Harish has written a bold and insightful account of the making of one of our Industry’s most successful associations – NASSCOM. As a founding member of NASSCOM, and an entrepreneur, Harish offers an inside account of the growth of the Indian IT industry and the crucial role NASSCOM played in it. It is also a deeply moving memoir of Harish’s life – despite its many personal setbacks – Harish retains his equanimity. There’s much to learn from him.

S Ramadorai

The book by Harish provides a comprehensive account of how an industry can work together towards achieving a collective vision that not only creates a world-leading industry but also plays a critical role in nation-building. It encapsulates the journey of NASSCOM and the role played by it in the success story of India’s IT Industry, and underscores the fact that exponential value can be attained through collaborative thinking and unequivocal action of a democratic, neutral, and independent industry association. The book rightly points out that skill development, innovation and digital transformation will be the key determinants of how India’s future

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The book by Harish provides a comprehensive account of how an industry can work together towards achieving a collective vision that not only creates a world-leading industry but also plays a critical role in nation-building. It encapsulates the journey of NASSCOM and the role played by it in the success story of India’s IT Industry, and underscores the fact that exponential value can be attained through collaborative thinking and unequivocal action of a democratic, neutral, and independent industry association. The book rightly points out that skill development, innovation and digital transformation will be the key determinants of how India’s future will look like, and India unquestionably has the intellectual capital and talent to make the most of it.

Sanjay Sharma

Praise for ‘The Maverick Effect'

I found the book unputdownable and have finished it! It’s brilliant that Harish has outlined a history of the Indian IT industry highlighting the critical role of NASSCOM. But he too emerges as such a wonderful and inspiring figure… loved it!

Praise for ‘The Maverick Effect'

I found the book unputdownable and have finished it! It’s brilliant that Harish has outlined a history of the Indian IT industry highlighting the critical role of NASSCOM. But he too emerges as such a wonderful and inspiring figure… loved it!

Sitanshu Yashaschandra

As one of your contemporary citizens of India who have, in billions, benefitted silently from the pathbreaking IT initiative of NASSCOM, and as a contemporary Indian author whose work it is to understand the significance of that silence, let me warmly welcome your book, ‘The Maverick Effect’. The book tells, so honestly, so intimately and so engagingly, ‘[t]he inside story of a MOVEment that led India’s IT Revolution’.

That you wish someone from the Humanities to write on this important book on a major organization of Technology, points out so much. It points out to a direction

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As one of your contemporary citizens of India who have, in billions, benefitted silently from the pathbreaking IT initiative of NASSCOM, and as a contemporary Indian author whose work it is to understand the significance of that silence, let me warmly welcome your book, ‘The Maverick Effect’. The book tells, so honestly, so intimately and so engagingly, ‘[t]he inside story of a MOVEment that led India’s IT Revolution’.

That you wish someone from the Humanities to write on this important book on a major organization of Technology, points out so much. It points out to a direction – the direction in which lies the crucial combination of Technology and Humanities.

But, at a deeper level, it also suggests a communion of Knowledge and Compassion, Reason and Feelings. Without such a communion between Technology and Humanities, India and the rest of the globe could turn into a luxurious inferno. A post-human and post-truth world of instant information and quick gratifications could be very alluring but it still is a trap.

As I read and reread your fascinating and truthful account of the momentous initiative and success of NASSCOM, it reminded me of a comment by Immanuel Kant, the seminal thinker of the Western Age of Enlightenment. Kant has said, in his crisp and cryptic style, that ‘Content’ without ‘Form’ is blind and ‘Form’ without ‘Content’ is empty. In the context of your book, Harishbhai, the Kantian caution assumes a new meaning. It draws our attention to a possible emptiness and a possible blindness that technology without humanistic and literary connectivity and humanity and literature without a link to technological and mathematical prowess, could generate. Not the emptiness of self-centred ‘scientific’ knowledge nor the blindness of undisciplined ‘artistic’ sentimentality (both rampant today in India and elsewhere, as huge economic-political frauds on the one hand and the thriving drug trafficking on the other demonstrate) should be our future. How to move towards a fullness of comforts and a foresightedness of a thoughtful society – that is the challenge before us. Your book enables us all to focus thoughtfully on it and face it skilfully.

Your terminology and context are of course different from mine. But I am able to translate you, from your language of technology and management to mine of literature and humanities, when you say o well: ” Nevertheless I am certain a collaborative structure composed of the experienced and the new will emerge and will respect NASSCOM’s values: to put India first, speak with a single industry voice, work with consensus, collaborate and compete, focus on growth, have robust conflict management processes, have conscience-keepers as anchors, spot a weak signal in spite of the noise and share a sense of ownership.” (p. 205). – Trust yours, NASSCOM’s values, especially of having conscience-keepers and spotting weak signal would go beyond IT industry and cover the fullness of India’s multi-layered and hugely diverse multitudes.

The century of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of Tiananmen Square but also of Gandhi and Mandela is just over and may recur more ferociously, with Hitler – or compassionately with Gandhi. You have so pointedly referred to Auschwitz and Dachau (p.156) and the double-edged inscription on their gates: ‘’Arbeit macht frei / Work sets you free.” The slogan is correct, but the gates are, as you suggest, wrong. I think your entire book makes us look at the different gates that are available to us, to select the right one and to move deeper into the vast possibilities of the 21st and 22nd centuries. Hope your sagacious expertise would help us citizens of India chose not only the right inscription but also the right gate and pathway to our future.

How, then, to move towards a humane society (a ‘Sane Society’ as Eric Fromm has said) with the help of skills of science, engineering and commerce, is our Yaksh Prashan today. Two key words from the title of your book show a pathway to it. They are: ‘Movement’ (printed as MOVEment) and ‘Maverick.’

The word ‘MOVE’-ment’ could be printed only by a ‘Maverick’! Origin of the adjective ‘Maverick’ is of course known to you. Horses and cattle owned by a Master were branded by red hot branding irons of their owner. That produced, albeit imposed an identity on the animals. But there remained, in distant wilderness, bison and horses that were ‘Wild’, that is Free. Science and technology, literature and arts, have been branded extensively in our times. There are so many Raj-Kavi-s today belonging to more than one master owner. There are hardly any Kavi-raj or simply Kavi. The word, ‘MOVEment’, with first four letters in capital, could be branded in our times as a ‘four letter’ word and declared to be obscene! I see an authentic purity in that word formation of yours.

What is a ‘MOVEment’? AS your book so simply yet ably traces its origin in the work of a courageous, gifted and cooperative small group, the emphasis on ‘MOVE’ brings out the dynamism of contemporary Indian scientific and technological culture. ‘Move’ (a verb) here does not signify a command, an order for the non-IT to move aside and make room for IT. It is, as your book tells, an invitation to join a joinery. But it also evokes a skilful strategy, a ‘move’ (a noun) in that sense, without which the ‘IT Revolution’ as you call it, would not have taken place in India of today. The Green Revolution of farming in Punjab and elsewhere, the While Revolution of milk cooperatives in Gujarat and elsewhere was joined by the IT revolution in Mumbai and elsewhere. Each pioneer deserves our glad gratitude and sincere congratulations.

Revolutions often misfire. The French and the Russian ones each had a great beginning and an ambiguous, if not dubious, phase that followed it. You and your colleagues must be wondering about it all, I am sure. We all do. That is what has brought the two of us together here!

Poetry is not pontification, I believe firmly. So let me end this personal letter to an enlightened, affectionate and dynamic friend by a reference to a shloka in Ishopanishad. Our insightful ancestors told us in Isha Upanishad, that human beings could cross the stretch of Mrutyu or Death by means of Avidya or our knowledge of the world that surrounds us, oftentimes a dangerous word. IT is one of them, a brilliant and epoch-making one. But the Upanishad added, we should partake the taste of true ‘non-death’, a-mrutam, i.e. of being fully alive in compassionate knowledge and knowing compassion, by means of Vidya, or knowledge that goes beyond skills, chemistry and algorithms, a Knowledge that is comprehensively compassionate.

We move on with that difficult, adventurous, utterly joyful voyage, my dear, esteemed and pioneering friend !

Sameer Ghelaut

“Hi Harishbhai, first of all congratulations on writing such a book which mesmerised me in reading the entire book from start to end. I am not a tech guy but I was sucked in by the story of how you pivoted the growth of tech in India via NASSCOM and I am sure not many people would know about this, every chapter had interesting snippets which kept me intrigued and amused at times. It’s an eye opener and hats off to your dedication in building the organisation which helped India and the software companies to grow.

Congratulations

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“Hi Harishbhai, first of all congratulations on writing such a book which mesmerised me in reading the entire book from start to end. I am not a tech guy but I was sucked in by the story of how you pivoted the growth of tech in India via NASSCOM and I am sure not many people would know about this, every chapter had interesting snippets which kept me intrigued and amused at times. It’s an eye opener and hats off to your dedication in building the organisation which helped India and the software companies to grow.

Congratulations once again!!

Vijay Ratnaparkhe

All that spirits desire,

spirits attain………….Khalil Gibran

India is usually known for something very old like Ayurveda or Yoga and almost nothing in between until something as significant as Indian IT was born.

It is the struggle of India to bring something to the globalization table, struggle of Indian IT services at the start and to an extent Harish-bhai’s own initial struggle after shifting to India from the US, depicted very well. The spirits which bound these struggles later to evolve into a great leader, into an Industry and into a

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All that spirits desire,

spirits attain………….Khalil Gibran

India is usually known for something very old like Ayurveda or Yoga and almost nothing in between until something as significant as Indian IT was born.

It is the struggle of India to bring something to the globalization table, struggle of Indian IT services at the start and to an extent Harish-bhai’s own initial struggle after shifting to India from the US, depicted very well. The spirits which bound these struggles later to evolve into a great leader, into an Industry and into a digital India are amazingly well connected.

I would recommend reading this book for customers of the Indian IT industry who see a different India in offices of IT firms than that on the roads that take them to the office. To understand what went into the foundation to make this industry happen, what therefore is the ethos, the culture, the passion and ambition of this Industry, and more importantly what to expect going ahead.

Harish-bhai’s natural style of speaking, his enthusiasm for younger IT leaders flows through this book smoothly. It’s a great compilation for those who seek to make a positive difference to India / to the world.

Walter Vieira

In the last five decades, Information Technology has been a big factor in developing the image of India world-wide .

40 years ago , I remember I was not very warmly received at the immigration in San Francisco. But 25 years ago, the attitude on arrival changed . Not just at the immigration, but also as I got into a cab at the airport. It was assumed that I was part of the Silicon Valley IT expats !! The welcome was warm and respectful.

It was all due to the IT revolution that had

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In the last five decades, Information Technology has been a big factor in developing the image of India world-wide .

40 years ago , I remember I was not very warmly received at the immigration in San Francisco. But 25 years ago, the attitude on arrival changed . Not just at the immigration, but also as I got into a cab at the airport. It was assumed that I was part of the Silicon Valley IT expats !! The welcome was warm and respectful.

It was all due to the IT revolution that had sparked off in much of India, and taken IT experts abroad to Europe and the US- specially Silicon Valley. All this could not have been possible without putting diverse business units together and creating a climate of cooperation and even, co-opetition! Trying to do this is always a thankless task.

It is always left to the odd individual/s like Harish Mehta who helped to found NASSCOM, and build it into a dynamic force; and helped to get recognition and respect from Government and together frame policies for the common good .

It is good to see a book - Maverick Effect, authored by Mehta, which traces the history of NASSCOM- from its founding to its growth to the present level as the voice of the IT community .There could not have been a more appropriate or qualified author for the book. Harish was a founder and first Chairman of NASSCOM. He has helped to expand its footprint over 40 years, to expand membership from a small group of small sized IT companies to later include all the ‘top guns’ and even to a stage where the biggest and the best would ‘want’ membership.

Harish has been both a player and at times, a spectator and the best person to create this as a historical record , as well as a motivator for our youth, to show what can be achieved with cooperation even among competitors! All one can say - Harish Mehta, well done .!!

Decoding The Maverick Effect & Mindset

The Maverick Effect, On Tour

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Around 2019, my daughter-in-law Natasha asked me why the Indian IT industry or NASSCOM's contributions weren't recognized as key drivers of the changing fortunes of India. That thought stayed with me and sparked a desire to find out if this was true. The more books I read on the subject even by eminent personalities, and the deeper I looked, the more I realized that it was true – barely anyone had credited them for it. That spark slowly turned into a fiery desire to set the record straight and give credit where it was long due. The only way to do this was to tell the untold story of India's IT revolution.

I documented the facts, retell the anecdotes that remained with me over the years and used my personal notes to fill in the gaps. In the process of writing the book, it struck me that 'The Maverick Effect' was more than just a story of the past. It could also easily serve as a flywheel to all who wish to bring a change in their respective industries and gain value & insights from the blueprints of NASSCOM. It essentially lays out the barebones of a formula that can be replicated across industries, professions, and nations to recreate the success of Indian IT to a large extent.

The USP of the book is that while it tells the story of Indian IT and NASSCOM, that's simply the lens to help understand the larger picture. The model or flywheel that it presents is truly industry agnostic and hence stakeholders across the board can benefit from it.

This flywheel can be picked up by students who can understand it as an industry case-study, by professionals who seek meaning and purpose in their careers, and entrepreneurs & founders who are looking to create or advance niche industries. It can benefit members of industry bodies who are looking to make their associations more effective at parlaying with regulators, legislators and more, and in a similar vein by government representatives and legislators to understand how new and old industries can be nurtured to unlock a nation's potential. I could go on, but in short, anybody who is literate can benefit from reading it.

The core values of NASSCOM presented can and should be customised and personalized to contextualize it for the need at hand. The 'Maverick Effect' is sure to follow.

The riveting tale of how a NASSCOM-led Indian IT Revolution changed a billion fortunes and accelerated India's evolution.

The stalwarts of Indian IT today, were fierce young software entrepreneurs and competitors who came together in an unlikely alliance to form NASSCOM.

Each of the entrepreneurs who first formed NASSCOM were willing to set aside their grandest personal visions, agendas and egos for the greater good of us all. What's most notable perhaps is that irrespective of size, stature and location, each of these co-founders of NASSCOM truly believed in the values we set for ourself and truly believed in our shared vision for the industry – and that's what has made all the difference.

Short answer, NO.

Understanding the timelines and context of NASSCOM is very important. In the 1980s-90s, when NASSCOM was being set up, we had to become evangelists for the software industry not just to bring in friendlier regulatory structures but also to help the bureaucracy understand the nature of software itself. Unlike lobbying that uses a number of opaque means to influencer policy, we did quite the opposite by opening our conference rooms and industry association to bureaucrats to facilitate the understanding of a sunrise industry with immense potential. Now would you be disparaging and call this lobbying?

Building mutual trust and gaining trust has been part of our core values since the inception of NASSCOM. We not only wanted governments & bureaucrats to understand what software was but also to create a consultative environment that was unstained by mistrust, corruption or vested interests. Eventually, this transparent environment was what led to the creation of an ecosystem that was conducive to the growth of the software business and through it of India.

Co-creation was, and will always be the way to go, and I have no qualms in accepting that the successive governments and enlightened bureaucrats have been active partners in building the software industry. Liberalization also came as an added bonus at the right time.

I do believe global outsourcing was just as game-changing as electricity, TV and the internet. The global delivery system pioneered by India is a major process innovation in itself that has made us the global-tech-hub we are today.

Not only that, Indian IT and software companies have changed the landscape of workplaces in India. Be it the work culture, transparency, corporate governance, ESOPs, inclusive HR policies, better pay, equal opportunities, or lower gender bias, and more.

Software services companies have also been reimagining and redesigning the processes of global customers by addressing the inefficiencies in their legacy processes well before anyone else was – that is innovation, isn't it?

There are a number of factors that have been detailed out in the book, especially in Chapter 9 - 'Copyright vs Right To Copy', but here it is in 5 brief points:

  • Indians don't like paying intangibles like software. Think about literature, music, or any kind of knowledge-sharing medium, they all suffer the same curse.
  • Weak copyright laws and no respect for intellectual property rights devalued software products disincentivizing their creation. Remember how your 'computer-guy' installed MS Office for 'FREE' with your PC / laptop? It definitely wasn't free, but piracy had and continues to have little consequence.
  • The Indian judiciary has historically inspired little confidence that IPRs would remain protected. Add to that the RBI caps on commissions for distributors in India early on and there was little incentive left to create or distribute software in India.
  • While NASSCOM has vociferously tried to change many things by creating awareness and influencing policy around copyright laws, there's a lot to yet be done. PS: Don't miss the picture and story about how an elephant crushed piracy in Connaught Place.
  • Finally, NASSCOM can only do so much, there's also a continued lack of original thinking by entrepreneurs that continues to plague the industry, but things are changing slowly. SaaS (Software as a service) has immense potential and enough budding leaders in India to take us to the top.

  • It's available in all major Indian book stores (offline)
  • It's available on Amazon (online)
  • It's also available for download on Kindle through Amazon

Not just yet officially, but it will soon 😊