The Coalition Of Competitors: The Story Of Nasscom And The IT Industry

Kiran Karnik

(Collins Business, Rs. 399)

1987. New Delhi. A group of entrepreneurs met to discuss the state of the info-tech industry. Among those who attended were N. R. Narayana Murthy and Nandan Nilekani. At that meeting, the need for an independent association to represent the interests of the IT software and services industry was emphasised. The result of that meeting changed the face of the Indian software sector, as Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) was born.

As India’s economic reforms began in 1991, the existence of Nasscom and its ability to present the industry’s unified view aided the take-off of the IT sector. From brand building to crisis management to foreign diplomacy, from being an adversarial proponent of a viewpoint to being a partner of the government, from a supporting to a stellar role, Nasscom has, over the years, played many parts. It has, in the process, been instrumental in the spectacular growth of India’s IT software exports from around $400 million in 1991 to over $60 billion today.

Kiran Karnik, who was at the helm of things at Nasscom for about eight years (2001-2008), and played a vital role in its growth, puts together his observations in this wonderfully lucid book. He explores the competition and cooperation in the IT sector, and the role Nasscom played in this. The secret of the IT sector’s success, according to Karnik, lies in the mantra — ‘Compete but cooperate’. The mantra has worked for Nasscom as well, he writes.

He also examines the Nasscom model and whether it is suitable for replication in other countries and industrial sectors in India. A must-read for anyone associated with the IT sector.

Heart, Smarts, Guts And Luck

Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, Tsun-Yun Hsieh

(Harvard Business, Rs. 795)

Here’s another one for businessmen and entrepreneurs. This book helps readers assess their leadership skills and offers plenty of practical business wisdom, besides a framework for thinking about the sources of business success. Look out for some compelling stories of success and failure.

Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck — these are the four key traits the authors have identified for a business to succeed.

HEART is all about passion, excitement, obsession and contagiousness.

SMARTS is about the importance of being street smart, intuitive and emotional, and the need for conceptual intelligence. It’s much more than acquiring an MBA.

GUTS is the willingness to take risks, and standing tough in the face of adversity and uncertainty.

LUCK is a product of humility, intellectual curiosity and optimism.

Describing these traits in depth with lots of examples, the book helps you identify your entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses.

Google Secrets

Yvette Davis

(Wiley India, Rs. 599)

Most of us are avid Google users. But do we really use everything the site has to offer in the most effective way possible?

That’s what tech expert Jerri Ledford does in this book. He reveals the ins and outs, and little-known facts about Google to show you how to sharpen your skills so you can get more done, more efficiently.

You may already be familiar with Google's most popular applications, but this guide offers insider tips, valuable insights, and unbeatable advice on Gmail, Google Voice, Google Sketchup, Google Analytics, Picasa, Buzz, Maps and more. Learn more about how to locate information and become a savvy user.