Kiran Karnik (2001-2007) | NASSCOM
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Kiran Karnik (2001-2007)

Kiran Karnik is the former President of NASSCOM, and a well known leader and spokesperson of the IT-BPO industry. Taking charge of NASSCOM in 2001, following the untimely demise of its Founder and President, Dewang Mehta, Kiran Karnik helped stabilise the organisation and enabled it to continue on its path of growth, expansion and institution building.

During his tenure as President, NASSCOM, spearheaded initiatives that helped in the following ways:



  • Spokesperson of the IT-BPO industry
  • 1998: Frank Malina medal for Space Education
  • 2003: Forbes Face of the year
  • 2004: Business Week - Stars of Asia
  • 2005: Dataquest IT Person of the Year
  • 2007: Padma Shri
  • Spurred the creation of policies and strategies for the advancement of the IT-BPO industry locally as well as internationally.
  • Reiterated NASSCOM’s commitment to Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs), providing them with a platform for interaction, learning, mentorship and recognition. Kiran helped in the creation of Emerge, a plank specially focused on launching initiatives targeted at the smaller players within the IT-BPO industry, and enabled them to find a voice.
  • Helped SMEs build visibility in the overseas markets by inviting them to participate in global trade delegations.
  • Created engagement with the BPO industry, and championed its causes. He additionally helped in the formation of a separate and independent BPO forum, under the banner of NASSCOM, to address the specific needs of this rapidly expanding group of organisations.
  • Spurred innovation, expanding the industry’s focus on cost and quality, and adding innovation to its key goals. Recognising that a significant amount of innovation was happening within the SME segment, Kiran helped create, for the very first time, Innovation Awards to showcase the creative work undertaken by the smaller players. NASSCOM received over 300 entries in the first year of the Innovation Awards.
  • Guided the Indian IT industry during the global economic slowdown and the resulting outsourcing backlash. By providing perspective and background information, NASSCOM helped the West understand the positive and participatory role the Indian IT-BPO industry was playing in driving the growth of global economies. During that time, the organisation made a credible and strong case for the sector, urging governments to view it as a partner, rather than usurper of jobs.

Following his departure from NASSCOM, Kiran Karnik was appointed as the Chairman of the reconstituted Board of the beleaguered and scam-hit Satyam Computers. Alongside other industry stalwarts he helped the company get back on the rails, and rebuild trust and confidence among customers.

During his career spanning over three decades, Kiran Karnik has been recognised with several national awards and accolades. The prestigious Padma Shri was conferred on him in 2007. He was named Dataquest’s IT Person of the Year in 2005, and BusinessWeek’s “Stars of Asia” in 2004. Forbes magazine selected him as the “Face of the Year 2003,” for being the driving force behind India’s offshoring wave. In 1998, The International Astronautical Federation awarded Kiran Karnik with the Frank Malina medal for Space Education. His deep involvement in the Kheda Communications Project, won wide national and international acclaim, including the first UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication.

A noted speaker, Kiran Karnik is regularly invited to deliver keynotes and lead panel discussions in leading global conclaves. A prolific writer, he contributes to various publications and has authored/edited a large number of newsletters and magazines. He also occasionally lectures at major national institutes.