Tag Archives: nasscom

Please help me get this book started – I need a get well soon card!

If you are a regular at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum, held every February in Mumbai, then you must surely know Alex Blues. Alex is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world in the field of outsourcing, with a track record  that includes being a partner at PA Consulting, a Director at KPMG, a director at Orbys, and he was once the European head of Syntel.

Search Google for “Alex Blues Nasscom” and you will find thousands of references to his Nasscom comments in blogs and magazines and just look at the hundreds of videos he has made from the Nasscom event.

Alex is a true friend of Nasscom, and he is a friend of mine too. But this year Alex is not in Mumbai and neither am I. For me the reason is simple. A company was going to send me over there to blog about the event, then they changed their mind just a couple of weeks ago, leaving me no time to make alternative plans.

For Alex, it’s not so simple. He is in hospital in the UK recovering from a car crash that took place many months ago in Kenya. He was on holiday with his wife and, to cut a long story short, she was beaten up by the collision and suffered many broken bones, but is now well on the road to recovery.

Alex needed an air ambulance to get back to the UK and is still very poorly. He is partially paralysed and cannot speak, so although his mind is still fine he is trapped in a world where he can’t speak and can’t move in a coordinated enough way to type or write.

But the doctors are working on the best hand he still has, and his speech, and once one or the other is working again, me and Alex are going to write a book together about how the role of influencers has entirely changed within the outsourcing and global services market. It’s an exciting topic that will take in the analysts, the consultants and advisors, and even the hi-tech bloggers and social media experts.

How people make buying decisions has changed enormously since the old days of buying an analyst report for thousands of dollars and trusting those opinions with a budget of millions.

So I need your help if me and Alex are going to get this project together. He still has all this untapped knowledge about the market and I know that you would find it useful as well, so can you do me a favour please?

Email him on alex@carteblanchebs.co.uk and tell him how much you would like to hear that he is well enough to start working on the book.

Or, what would be even better is if you could take a moment to mail a real get-well card. He won’t be leaving hospital anytime soon so if you can make the effort to buy a real card and send it – like we used to before email – then I know he would appreciate that too.

His wife, Caroline, has promised to read him all your messages. Get them focused on how much he needs to start communicating again so he can get to work on this book and I’m sure his recovery can start sooner.

Alex Blues, A5 Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Hills Road

Cambridge CB2 0QQ

United Kingdom

Will you help me – and Alex –  please? Thanks… and I hope to see the Nasscom crowd again in 2013, I miss the food in Mumbai and the random debates about music in Glasgow. You just don’t know how bad Indian food is in Brazil 🙂

One final note. Back in the days before social media had really taken off in the corporate world – like way back in 2008 – I uploaded this video of Alex at the Nasscom conference in Mumbai. I ended up in trouble for it because every time a potential client of PA Consulting was told they might be working with Alex, they would Google his name. One of the first results was always Alex enjoying a glass of wine in Mumbai with the team from Steria. Not quite the image a professional firm wants to see, but it certainly helped PA to understand the power of the Internet…

Lunatics and bigots

A long time ago, when I wrote my first book, someone came up to me at a party and suggested that they could have written a better book. It may have been just a light-hearted joke, but I could see that he was serious and quite affronted that I had written a book that he felt he was better qualified to write.

I just said to him that he should do it – plenty of people believe they could have written a better book, or made a better film, or written a better piece of music, but how many of them actually go out and do it? If all the great books, symphonies, and films have already been created then why do people keep on creating new ones anyway? Nobody has a monopoly on the truth.

Because of these experiences I learned long ago to ignore those who are critical without offering alternatives or improvements, rather like an old boss of mine who always wanted his team to come to him with suggestions on how to fix a problem, rather than bleating about the problem itself.

But recently, I’ve been receiving critical comments from an individual on LinkedIn and Twitter. He has now called my magazine IT Decisions ‘bigoted’. Fortunately for him, he did not address his abuse to me personally because as most people know, making menacing threats or libel via electronic means is quite a serious offence in most jurisdictions.

I’m not personally all that bothered. Anyone who publishes an opinion of any form has to expect some ridiculous responses now and then. However, back in Jane Eyre, Mr Rochester could lock his wife away in the attic. Now the lunatics have Twitter and other social networks to publish their world view.

So what did IT Decisions publish that’s so terrible?

Here is a report, commenting on research from Nasscom lamenting how few Indian graduates are ready for employment. It’s not me making these claims directly, it’s the Indian trade association Nasscom. Got that? It’s an Indian trade association bemoaning their own education system – not me.

In my view, the Indian hi-tech industry has enough good graduates due to the sheer numbers coming through college, but if the universities were more attuned to what industry needs then things could be a lot better. And the point of the article was anyway to contrast the value of full-time and part-time education, with the view that a part-time education may be more valuable than most have given it credit for.

Then, this report on the views of the Brasscom president, Antonio Gil. That’s the Brazilian hi-tech trade asssociation – similar to Nasscom in India. Gil made some flippant remarks about Brazilian IT teams being more inquisitive than Chinese or Indians. I reported his remarks, within the context of them not being politically correct, though having more than a grain of truth because of the way IT companies work in these different locations.

IT Decisions reports on what is important to technology decision makers in Brazil, but my magazine doesn’t have a hidden agenda. It’s not there to bash India and China, or only ever blow a trumpet for Brazil. When the magazine extensively covered the recent IT worker strikes in São Paulo we were accused by some in Brazil of being too negative and not promoting the industry enough.

My response to those people in Brazil was that we are not here as flag-wavers for the local industry, we are reporting facts that are relevant for those buying IT systems.

And that’s the reality. You can’t please all the people all the time if you want to try reporting the truth. Reporting always has some favour, or slant, or agenda, but in general we are trying to provide good information and analysis, without adverts, without press releases, without vendor-sponsored content, and without spin.

For those reasons alone, IT Decisions is already a lot more honest than most newspapers who need to keep a proprietor happy, or advertisers on board, or to appeal to the prejudice of regular readers.

I have plenty of good friends in India who know exactly how much I have written positively about that country and how far their IT industry has come in the past couple of decades. I don’t need to defend myself here when I have personal notes of thanks from people in India, all the way up to Manmohan Singh himself. I wonder if Dr Singh would have taken the time to write a note of thanks to me if he considered me and my magazine to be bigoted India-bashers?

Jane Eyre

Shame on Hyatt

Each year, NASSCOM brings nearly 2,000 to their annual leadership conference in Mumbai. Since 2005 it has always been held at the Grand Hyatt hotel – a place that is certainly grand, but this year appears to have become too grand for the mere conference delegates.

They have started charging delegates to use tables and chairs in the coffee shop in a bid to prevent pesky conference-goers sitting and working or having meetings in the hotel public areas. Conference-goers have been asked for R$7,000 a table (£95) for a 2-hour slot.

The boss of the Hyatt should consider where his future revenue lies. Should he keep a few coffee-shops guests happy with a half-empty space, or help out the thousands of conference-goers who are also spending money in the bar, restaurants, and booking rooms?

It’s your call Hyatt.



Every year in February the Indian hi-tech trade association, NASSCOM, runs their big annual conference in Mumbai. It’s the big annual get-together of the great and good in IT, especially in India, but these days there are around 30 countries represented at the event.

Now that I live in Brazil, it’s a 23-hour journey to get from São Paulo to Mumbai, and that is just changing plane once in London. So I’m going to be dosing up on new films on the way, provided BA has something worth watching.

I’m going to be writing about political risk for Reuters, filing a daily ‘from the conference’ report for silicon.com, blogging about any interesting social media content for Computer Weekly, and anything related to Brazil and South America on IT Decisions, plus I am gathering research for a report I am writing for PA Consulting.

It’s going to be very busy as always, with meetings from breakfast until dinner and this year I am not staying in the conference hotel. It always helps if your room is just above where the conference is taking place, but never mind, I’m sure I’ll cope…

If you are going to be there then do get in touch. I am arriving in Mumbai on Monday and will be leaving very late on Thursday night… once the conference is over I will get dinner then go to the airport to catch the 02.45 flight to London.
NASSCOM Global Leadership Awards

Why no Wifi?

I’m at the Gartner outsourcing summit in São Paulo, Brazil today. I walked into the keynote session a little earlier this morning only to find that there is no Internet availability in the conference area of the hotel.

I asked the conference organisers why I can’t get online. They said that people at the conference are not allowed to get online.

Umm, so how is anyone supposed to blog the conference or make comments about what the speakers are saying?

I did ask them earlier what the hashtag for the event is, only to be greeted by blank stares… Come on Gartner, what’s going on? You can do a lot better than this in Brazil. At NASSCOM in Mumbai, bloggers are allowed seats at the front of the conference hall – with power sockets – so they can get unobstructed video and photo content out onto the web immediately.

This time it feels like I’m an imposition, asking constant questions and getting no answers.
Gartner Outsourcing Summit Brazil 2010

NASSCOM. My week in Mumbai…

I spent most of last week in Mumbai, India, at the NASSCOM annual conference. I was there as part of a Steria press trip that also included Mark Samuels from CIO Connect and Jo Best from silicon.com. Here is a list of some of the blogs I produced and interviews I recorded… ready for use in some future blog posts. I will have more NASSCOM material coming soon, once I catch up with everything I noted there in India… I’m also producing a white paper on the Indian tech industry with PA Consulting, so that should be available soon too…


Interviews (recorded and will soon be appearing on various blogs)
Francois Enaud, Steria
Mukesh Aghi, Steria
John Torrie, Steria
Gayathri Mohan, Steria
Isaac George, Steria
Manish Khandelwal, PA Consulting
Alex Blues, PA Consulting
Chocko Valliappa, Vee Technologies
KK Natarajan, Mindtree
Norman Pitman, CSC
Michael Bieler, CSC
Sachin Tikekar, KPIT Cummins
Suresh Sundaram, HCL
Santanu Nandi, FirstSource
Sanjeev Sinha, FirstSource
Sudip Banerjee, L&T Infotech
John Suffolk, UK government
Kishor Patil, KPIT Cummins
Ganesh Natarajan, Zensar
Arvind Thakur, NIIT Technologies
Baru Rao, Capgemini
Padmini Sharathkumar, Polaris
Arijit Sengupta, WNS
Deborah Kops, WNS
Suketu Patel, Infosys
Abhijit Mazumder, TCS
Avinash Sethi , Infobeans

Video produced during NASSCOM
Arriving at the HYATT hotel

Gayathri Mohan on CSR

Mark Samuels and Jo Best

Walking through the NASSCOM crowd

John Torrie


NASSCOM We Will Rock You dancing

Hyatt gardens

Alex Blues of PA Consulting

Mukesh Aghi

The company stands at NASSCOM

Francois Enaud

Audio Podcasts published during NASSCOM
Isaac George, Steria
Manish Khandelwal, PA Consulting
John Suffolk, UK Government CIO


Steria Exchange blog
Francois Enaud on sustainability

Summary of NASSCOM by Isaac George

Mukesh Aghi on new markets

Hilary on stage at the party

Sustainability research from K2

Optimism in India

Gayathri Mohan interview

Computing blog
Future of Customer Service

Optimism at NASSCOM


Time for NASSCOM

Welcome to the event

Who is your female tech heroine?

Steria CSR head on video

Back to the BRICs

Power to the bloggers

Should Shashi Tharoor use twitter?

Summary of the event

It’s crazy at NASSCOM

I’m interviewing a different Chief Executive Officer almost every half an hour…constantly, and I am also trying to upload video, edit podcasts, and keep comment fresh on five blogs. It’s crazy and it’s constant, going from breakfast this morning with the UK Government CIO John Suffolk, through to a tweetup with Indian bloggers later this evening.

But I love it! And the blogging community here is really growing strong – this is the best year yet at NASSCOM for business bloggers…

Contact me at NASSCOM

I’m in Mumbai at the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum.

If you are trying to reach me, then please text my mobile phone. Don’t call me. I don’t often take calls when I am roaming, unless I know who it is. If I need to talk to you then I can call on Skype (I’m markkobayashihillary by the way)…

If you need my phone number then take a look here…

I’m at NASSCOM in Mumbai

I just arrived this morning in Mumbai, India. I’m staying at the Grand Hyatt hotel and attending the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum this week – the conference kicks off tomorrow morning. As I’ve walked around the hotel this morning, it’s clear that NASSCOM is everywhere and lots of people are getting the place ready for the conference.

Getting ready for NASSCOM 2010

I’m doing some preparation work today and trying to ensure I’m recovered from the journey and ready for the intense three days of interviews and lectures. First thing is to sign some of my own books so I am ready…!

Books I need to sign

Oscar Lopez, where are you?

When I wrote my first book ‘Outsourcing to India’ I remember attending an event at London Business School and hearing a distinguished Indian business commentator tell me that he could have written a better book. My advice to him was to write his book rather than talk of the hypothetical possibility of him ever publishing it – even if it is better than my own effort.

I’ve never claimed that my first book was a masterpiece. It was an observation on the changing nature of business at that time and specifically dealt with India from the perspective of an outsider – so the critic would have struggled to achieve anything similar as it was intended to gaze at India through the eyes of a visitor anyway.

And that book did the job. It’s out of date now because the industry moves so fast in India, but it’s remarkable how much of that commentary is still valid today.

At present, I’m writing on the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum blog. The forum is the biggest IT and IT-enabled services event in India and takes place every February, I’m leaving for Mumbai on Sunday. I’m blogging in advance of the event and will be reporting on that blog with information about what is going on at the event itself.

It seems already that the debate over Indian companies using social media has touched a nerve. A recent blog post by Vishal Gondal criticised the lack of insight many Indian tech firms are showing when it comes to social media. He got several quite nasty comments. I added a comment suggesting that his views should be listened to because even if it is painful to hear, some of his observations ring true. Then “Oscar Lopez” commented on me!

“It is easy for someone like Mark Kobayishi Hillary to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude – he himself has been known NOT to respond to criticism of his views – especially in the wake of his diatribe against Indian software companies in the UK. Mark, you will do well to read your own words and follow them.”

Well , that’s a surprise. So now I have anonymous critics who won’t even put their own real name on blog posts or engage me in conversation about what they think and feel?

The real issue here is over opinions. Clearly I have expressed an opinion that has upset Oscar. But then if I never expressed any opinions, I couldn’t write or blog very effectively. However, I’d like to imagine that most of my opinions are formed from an intelligent analysis of research, facts, and experience. Clearly Oscar doesn’t agree.

I’d be interested to hear more from “Oscar”, in particular to understand what my diatribe against Indian companies in the UK might be all about. And as my contact details are all publicly available and I’m actively participating in a number of online forums, I’m not sure how I have failed to respond to some critical points.

Oscar, it’s over to you.