Mr. R. Chandrashekhar, was President of NASSCOM from 2013 -18. During his tenure at NASSCOM, the industry entered the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which brought in its wake disruptive change – need for re-skilling of talent, enterprise-wide digital transformation, cybersecurity concerns, rising protectionist wave particularly in traditional markets, the second coming of start-ups, increased focus on the domestic market and IT for social good, among others.
In a VUCA-defined environment, he catalysed great change and addressed the diverse needs of industry stakeholders in an exemplary manner. Among the many firsts were CoEs in AI & Data Science, IoT & Cyber Security which were set up to foster next gen technologies. His other contributions included a major thrust on skilling with Nasscom as the Sector Skills Council for the IT Sector, growing the startup ecosystem and the 10,000 Startups initiative, hosting the World Conference on IT in India for the first time in 2018 at Hyderabad and strongly countering false narratives on Indian IT businesses in the USA, launch of a special drive to promote IT exports to Japan and many others.
Before his stint at NASSCOM, RC as he is fondly called, had an illustrious career in the Government. He held a wide variety of key assignments, mostly related to the ICT sector post 1989, both in the Government of India and the State Government of Andhra Pradesh.
In the Government of India, he was the Chairman, Telecom Commission and Secretary, Department of Telecommunication from 2010 till March 2013. He was then responsible for all aspects of policy formulation for the telecom sector and driving several key policies and strategies covering Licensing, Spectrum Management, National Broadband Plan, Convergence, Manufacturing, Investment, Security, R&D. During this period, he played a pivotal role in restabilizing the telecom sector, which was passing through an unprecedentedly turbulent phase. Simultaneously, he masterminded a triad of policies namely The National Telecom Policy 2012, The National IT Policy 2012 and The National Electronics Policy, 2012.
Prior to that and concurrently, he was the Secretary, Electronics and IT in GOI. As Joint Secretary for e-Governance for several years and later as Secretary, he led the formulation and implementation of the citizen and business services oriented National e-Governance Plan. He has a deep understanding of the issues and problems related to ICT project implementation in Government. He conceptualised and initiated many ground-breaking programs including establishing 100,000 Common Service Centres for the digitally disadvantaged. The National ID project (now called Aadhaar) was entirely conceived and developed by the team under his leadership. An independent authority for implementation was thereafter set up as recommended. Chandrashekhar led the Inter-Ministerial Group that architected and laid the foundation for the now ubiquitous mobile digital payment eco-system. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs digitalization (MCA21) project and the Passports projects were implemented in record time through unprecedented PPP models as were many other projects. Additionally, as Secretary, he steered the formulation of national policies for the IT sector and for promoting Electronic System Design and Manufacturing and R&D in the Electronics and IT sector.
Earlier, he established the first Department of Information Technology in the country in the state of Andhra Pradesh and was Secretary of the Department from June 1997 to December 1999. From 1996 to 2001, he spearheaded 3 key initiatives that put Hyderabad on the path to becoming a leading IT hub. These were the launching of HITEC City in a unique PPP mode followed quickly by the development of the Manikonda region, the launch of IIIT-Hyderabad in partnership with the IT industry and initiating a comprehensive e-governance program in the state. The policies and strategies he formulated catapulted the state to the forefront of the country in the sector and it became a role model for several states and countries.
In recent times and post NASSCOM, as Chairman, Centre for The Digital Future and as an Independent Adviser, Chandrashekhar focuses on issues that lie at the intersection of technology (especially new and emerging technology), business and regulation.
Mr. Chandrashekhar received a M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. He was conferred the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2007-08. He has been conferred several awards including Data Quest Path Breaker of the Year Award in 2005 and Distinguished Alumnus award of IIT-Bombay in 2010.
HYSEA is privileged and honoured to present this Lifetime Achievement Award to Sri R. Chandrashekhar and wishes him many more years of energetic journey helping & mentoring the IT Industry in the country.