Chairperson of IAMAI must now be from an Indian firm

The chairperson of one of the top industry bodies for technology companies, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), must now be from an Indian company, the body’s members ruled on October 10 during an extraordinary general meeting.

These resolutions were passed by the 25-member governing council earlier. (Representative file i mage)
These resolutions were passed by the 25-member governing council earlier. (Representative file i mage)

Around 50% of all seats in the IAMAI’s governing council must also be reserved for Indian firms while the others will be open to all types of members during elections, five individuals who attended the EGM told HT. The body also ruled that to become a member of the governing council, the individuals must be founders, co-founders, chairperson, country heads, CEOs, COOs, or executive directors.

An Indian company has been defined as one that has a permanent establishment in India, and whose parent company receives majority of its revenue from India.

Exceptions have been made for software-as-a-service (SaaS) and similar companies where the company might be Indian but a bulk of its revenues might come from outside India.

Moneycontrol first reported about the passage of these three resolutions.

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These resolutions were passed by the 25-member governing council earlier. These were first discussed at least two months ago to wrestle control of policymaking on technology issues from non-Indian Big Tech platforms.

IAMAI is headed by an executive council that is currently chaired by Dream11’s Harsh Jain. Its vice-chairperson is MakeMyTrip’s Rajesh Magow while Times Internet’s Satyan Gajwani is the treasurer. Subho Ray is the IAMAI president. When HT contacted Ray, he refused to comment stating that he does not talk to the media.

During the meeting, Shweta Rajpal Kohli, chief public policy officer at Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia), said that Indian startups and founders are strong and vibrant enough to compete with the rest of the world. “They don’t need any reservations to compete in the elections of an industry body,” she said according to all the individuals HT spoke to. It is understood that she argued that such a move would undermine the Indian startup ecosystem which should be capable of competing with foreign firms on their merit without needing quotas.

HT reached out to Peak XV; but they refused to comment.

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