Looking back at the year in technology, I see it like a Facebook collage of key images.
I met Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella within a few weeks in India – which is symbolic of the nation’s importance for these gentlemen as India is poised for a boom in smartphones.
While the infectious enthusiasm of Bezos, the quiet optimism of Zuckerberg and the assertive persuasion of Nadella linger in my memory, I am more sentimental about two other things: the appointment of Vishal Sikka as CEO of Infosys and a dinner earlier this month where I met Indian software industry’s stalwarts as the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) marked 25 years of existence.
As a booming consumer market, India is a natural for global CEOs interested in wooing the millions. But there is more significance when a bellwether company that symbolizes the “Made In India” spirit finds its feet. It was in January that I went to Bangalore to do a story on the disarray in Infosys as founder-chairman NR Narayana Murthy struggled to lift it from a laggard status among leaders. Its unique character of being both Indian and global was preserved in the naming of Sikka, who has been on the board of Germany’s SAP.
At Nasscom’s Silver Jubilee dinner, the same spirit was conveyed by dozens of people who made it happen over a long haul. These men are more important for India than the global poster boys – though Nadella’s Indian origin is something that conveys the same spirit.