Nasscom 2006 in Bombay was a TCS show. No doubt about it. The fact that TCS CEO S Ramadorai is also chairman of IT industry body Nasscom this year helped. Infosys Technologies, on the other hand, was not all there. Possibly out of choice. Not that they would have to revise guidance downwards next quarter. But a lot of people noticed the low-key presence.
The India Leadership Forum was perhaps the biggest of its kind till date. And it demonstrated that the India IT story is getting stronger. Not just that. Companies from world over are as locked into the problems and solutions of India's growth on the IT services side as we all are. They will treat avian flue with less paranoia than ever before. And best of all, they will soon do a better job of selling the India story.
TCS swung INS Vikrant, yes the ship, as the venue for the closing ceremony of the three-day event. Delegates were driven into dark and brooding Ballard Estate on the south eastern tip of Bombay in the evening. And from the deserted roads into Tiger Gate right onto the waterfront. Where the giant, decomissioned aircraft carrier stood in all the maritime glory it could muster. With lights blazing all over. And the twinkling lights of Bombay city forming the backdrop.
Cool Wind In The Hair
You walked through gangways, clambered up steep iron staircases and reached the main deck. To be greeted by a real helicopter, aircraft and torpedos (used by guests to sit on while eating dinner). The ambience was spectacular. Cool, light gusts of wind would hit you every now and then. On one side the sea, another, the newly built International Cruise Terminal. And starboard (or was it aft), the tall office buildings of Fort, south Bombay. Interrupted ocassionally by powerful fog horns as ships sailed out or past in the distance.
Nasscom rolled out a Hollywood Nite on INS Vikrant, with performers flown in from Broadway, including a full-blown rendering of All That Jazz. The sets were grand, the music powerful and the experience of being away from it all was truly memorable. Every India roadblock, ports included, seemed distant. Come to think of it, wasn't Bangalore the IT capital ?
Most of the overseas visitors looked and sounded pretty impressed with the Vikrant bash. They didn't have to be sold an India story. They came for what India offered and were not too dissapointed with what they saw. Some of them (the British in particular) looked at the humourous side of things. Like the CEO of Southern Water UK who said he measured time taken to cover distances in Bangalore in days now.
Davos For IT Sourcing
If World Economic Forum, Davos was big, so was Nasscom 2006, Bombay. In its own, little way, it was the Davos for IT Sourcing. It just happened to take place in Bombay. In a dump called Kalina in the northern suburbs. And where everyone stated and agreed that in the whole world, India was the best place to do business with now. Despite all the problems. At this point of time. And where the prime attraction was not Shiamak Davar's troupe.