New Delhi: Lobby Group IndiaTech.org, formed by India’s top internet companies, has appointed Rameesh Kailasam as chief executive officer (CEO).

Kailasam, who’s a reform and policy strategist, was until recently the acting managing director of public affairs firm APCO Worldwide. He also had stints at IBM, Oracle and Centre for Good Governance with the government of Andhra Pradesh.

The industry group that was launched last year in September was the result of efforts led by Flipkart’s co-founder and former executive chairman Sachin Bansal. It aims at representing the interests of Indian startups to fight international rivals in the market. Now, the group will have to find another anchor because Flipkart is set to sell 77% of itself to American retail giant Walmart.

“For India’s economy to achieve its full potential in terms of growth and job creation, it needs a vibrant ecosystem of large home-grown internet companies, similar to what exists in China and the US. IndiaTech’s objective is to work with government, companies, investors, and other constituents to help achieve this objective," said Ravi Mehta, founder of Steadview Capital and co-founder of IndiaTech.

IndiaTech is a consortium of home-grown companies including ride-hailing service Ola((ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) , messaging app Hike Messenger, hotel-booking firm MakeMyTrip and online classifieds portal Quickr. Alongside, investors like SoftBank, Matrix Partners, Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures are also a part of the industry group.

“This industry, backed by the right supportive policy mechanism from the government, can have transformational impact similar to that internet commerce has had across the world and will usher the next big revolution in India," said Kailasam.

The association that pushes the government to pass favourable laws for Indian companies countering Chinese and US internet firms may find it challenging as investments are flowing from giants like Alibaba (into companies like Zomato Media Pvt.Ltd). Meanwhile, Tencent Holdings is also betting on the Indian startup ecosystem.

Kailasam’s appointment as CEO comes immediately after the Competition Commission of India(CCI) approved Walmarts $16 billion purchase of home-grown e-commerce firm Flipkart on Wednesday.

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