As I walked into the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum in Mumbai, I bumped into a smiling Sangeeta Gupta – Vice President at NASSCOM and one of the longest serving members of this apex industry body. Looks can be deceptive because under the cool exterior is palpable tension. The workshops have just begun and the main event is about 90 minutes away. Not surprising for an event organizer considering last minute apprehensions, demanding requests and so on. Everything that goes on behind the scenes but not obvious to any delegate. It’s not easy when you are managing 1250 delegates and 50 staff – most of them temporary and hired. Welcome to NILF which opened yesterday [February 11, 2009] once again without a hitch.
For someone who has been associated with the industry for more than a decade and been to a NASSCOM in the past – I remember the earlier ones in South Mumbai – all I can say is each one is better than the other. The forum serves as an ideal platform for exchange. Exchange of ideas, exchange of business cards, exchange of information. It’s an opportunity for an entrepreneur to directly ask a question to the Chairman of Infosys. It’s also an ideal forum to meet almost anyone from the industry. If you have an organized list, you can pretty much find the top 10 companies of the software industry by just standing outside Ballroom I, II or III at the Hyatt.
It’s also a great place to learn about new developments. The session by Peter Coffee from salesforce.com and Sharad Sharma of Yahoo R&D on Cloud Computing was especially enlightening.
Considering the fact that India has severe limitations in conference venues, NASSCOM does an excellent job in shepherding the industry under one roof for three days every year at this time of the year.