Bangalore: Pramod Bhasin is the president and CEO of Genpact, the largest business process outsourcing or BPO company in India.
On Thursday, Bhasin was appointed as the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), a position he will hold for a year.
Nasscom is the information technology or IT industry body.
Bhasin takes over at a crucial time as the Indian IT industry, which has traditionally enjoyed strong growth, has entered a choppy phase as its key customers in the US and Europe—from where it gets at least 80% of its revenues—are hit by slowing economy. In the last four years, the Indian IT industry’s services exports have grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 28%, but this year it has dipped to 16%.
Genpact was earlier a captive unit of GE Capital International Services, which pioneered BPO services in India. It is therefore appropriate that 12 years later, the person who started it all now takes over as the chairman of Nasscom when it is facing a key challenge in its next stage of growth. Bhasin spoke to Mint on the challenges ahead. Edited excerpts:
On his agenda:
I am taking over at a fairly complex and volatile time. One of the important things I would evangelize is on the benefits of continuing free trade. During tough times, protectionist sentiments come to fore and we need to explain the benefits which free trade confer.
On the impact of the Satyam scandal on Indian IT:
On governance and ethics, barring an odd Satyam, it is the Indian IT industry which has set the agenda here. Now we have a panel on this headed by Mr (Narayana) Murthy (of Infosys Technologies Ltd). I am sure that we will continue to set the agenda.
On slowing growth and job losses:
We need to enhance the skills of existing employees in the IT industry even as we educate the younger generation. We have to emphasize the security, both infrastructure and information security, that India provides for global clients.
We have to find newer markets and newer areas in IT to serve. I am confident that the Indian IT industry will continue to thrive and grow once the current volatility settles down.