Software product companies are forming their own associations. Examples are ASIRT and iSpirit.

DQW Bureau
New Update

We Indians love to form associations. It stems from our love to create groups where birds of the same feathers gather together and try to champion issues and matters close to their hearts (or pockets). Critics will contradict this and say that more associations are formed here because of our penchant for groupism and petty nitpicking and politicking leading to inevitable fallouts between friends and companions.


Whatever may be the instigations, we have seen lots of activities around a couple of associations in the last few weeks. While one of these associations has recently been formed, the other has been in existence for a year now (in fact, it will celebrate its first birthday next month).

Let's first talk about ASIRT, the association of system integrators formed last year. Though this association is primarily Mumbai-centric, it now plans to go national. In fact, the announcement was made at last month's DQ Channels SP Summit only. While it has been arranging a host of management sessions and other business generating opportunities for its members, ASIRT's leitmotif is to create a separate lobbying niche for themselves.

Since most of these system integrators had their genesis in the IT channel ecosystem, they have traditionally been part of the IT channel associations (mainly city-centric) till date. However, the nature of their businesses have evolved and today it is poles apart from the stock and supply business of channel partners.


Yet they did not have a body that can effectively take up causes closer to them like SLA violations, contract management or capacity management. Or even more seriously software taxation issues, including double taxation and implementation of VAT or GST. This need is most felt when they need to lobby or present their cases to the government.

In the past, these system integrators have made attempts to join Nasscom, but to little avail. Therefore, it was never a day late when ASIRT was formed to take care of their own challenges. In fact, Nasscom has done little to refute the allegation that it is not just a Big Boys Club taking care of the issues facing large IT services companies.

In fact, it is this intransigence of Nasscom that has led to the software product companies breaking out of the body and forming their own association  iSPIRT. Software product companies have their own challenges vis-à-vis marketing skills and budgets, R&D skills and budgets and thereby even their HR policies.


And sorry to say, that while no one is doubting that Nasscom has globally championed the causes of Indian IT service companies, they have never done so for the software product companies. And the tier 2 system integrators have been literally treated as pariahs. There seems to be little realization that an Infosys requirements would be different from a Tally; and a ValuePoint Systems does not even exist in their radar.

While Nasscom's repeated cold shouldering has led to the formation of the likes of ASIRT and iSPIRT, it seems to be a blessing in disguise. These associations can now actively take up their own challenges without expecting help from the big brother. My best wishes are for both ASIRT and iSPIRT.