Mr. Kiran Karnik,
Former President NASSCOM  about NSR   

Dear colleague,

I write to you on a matter of great importance to all associated with the IT industry. As you know, the IT software and service industry is one of India’s outstanding successes. It is now India’s top exporter, and provides direct employment to over 10 lakh people (and, indirectly, to 2 or 3 times that number). It has catalyzed the growth of commercial real estate, automobile, catering, hospitality and mortgage banking industries. It is contributing to better governance and efficiency, even as it has transformed the image of India abroad. While many things we do in our industry need improvement, the fact is that we are making a significant positive impact on the Indian economy and the people of this country. This success would not have been possible without the efforts and commitment of each of you. As a representative of the industry, I salute each one of you for your unique contribution.

We have just completed a joint NASSCOM-McKinsey study and this indicates strong growth in the years ahead. In fact, we expect that exports would reach US$ 60 billion in 2010, from just over US$ 17.8 billion in 2004 - 05. However, reaching this ambitious goal is contingent on certain actions and steps. A vital one amongst these is related to ensuring the security of data; an allied issue is protecting ourselves and our systems from criminal elements. These issues, if not properly handled, could derail our growth and our hopes.

In recognition of these, NASSCOM – working closely with industry colleagues – has taken a number of pro-active steps. Many of you would be aware that most companies are already taking a few steps to make our industry a more secure environment for ourselves and our clients. I have personally communicated to many CEOs the need to continuously raise the standards for the safety of the employees and the clients. These issues are being taken extremely seriously, not only by NASSCOM, but also the government, the legal authorities and the police. Together, we will leave no stone unturned and we aim to make India the “Fort Knox” of security, positioning ourselves as the gold standard for security as we are today for quality.

One of the vital steps in this effort is the creation of a National Skills Registry of all the employees in our industry (including myself and the industry CEOs). The key features of this registry (which will be run by NSDL, National Securities Depository Ltd. are:

  • All Indian employees will be registered

  • No new employee will be hired without being a part of the registry

  • The data is 'owned by the employee'. Only the employee can authorise a potential employer to view his/her information. Confidentiality and privacy are, thus, assured.
  • No employer can, on their own, add anything to the registry except purely factual data.

  • Employers and employees can request for background checks by reputed agencies, with employees being able to view the results of the checks.

  • Employees of vendor companies (transport, canteen, security etc) will be included in the database as soon as possible.

We hope that these steps will dramatically raise the level of security and protect all the honest people working in this industry. Like airport security, this is a necessary process that we all need to go through, in our own interest.

I am delighted to inform you that the registry was formally launched on January 18, 2006 by Minister Maran, and the NSDL team will soon be at your company premises to facilitate the process of registration.

If you need any further information, or have questions, do write to me at Excellence in maintaining security (information and personal) is vital for the growth and survival of each company and the industry itself. I am sure that you are aware of this and that you will support and help us in this process.

I look forward to the contribution of each company and each individual in taking the IT industry forward and making a difference to the country by creating millions of jobs and economic growth, even as we make India a global leader in this industry.


With regards,
Kiran Karnik Former President, NASSCOM

April 20,2006