IndiaTech.org, a lobby group for Indian ecommerce and internet companies, has appointed Rameesh Kailasam as its new CEO, the body said in a statement. Kailasam is known for his work in the policy and governance space, having worked with several private companies and the government. And while he seems like a very good hire as a CEO, it seems that even he cannot save IndiaTech.org from itself.
For one, it has been nearly one year since IndiaTech.org launched. However, the website is not live, and shiver me timbers uses the outdated basic HTTP access authentication (is the site not ready yet? Why not?) [401 authorisation required on cancelling on signing in]. India “tech”.org, anyone?
Kailasam takes over from former IAS officer and economist Gyanendra Badgaiyan, who quit earlier this year due to “differences over the direction” of the organisation, according to this Economic Times report.
IndiaTech.org, in its own words, is a “non-profit, voluntary industry association.” Interestingly, the org was formed to raise a voice against global e-commerce players, led by Walkart’s, err, I mean Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal. Its aim was to lobby or battle against ‘deep pocketed’ global competitors for ‘fair market’ in the country.
Indiatech.org was reported to push the government to make policies favoring domestic startups as it wants local companies to dominate the space in the country. The group reportedly believed that if India’s local firms did not succeed, India would likely lose $10 billion of foreign direct investment and over $1 billion of tax revenues per year.
Now, amidst the drafting of the national e-commerce policy (which asks for preferential treatment towards Indian products and tariffs while taxing foreign-owned companies), a disappointment from traders over that policy, and trader protests against the Walmart-Flipkart deal, it would be interesting to see what the lobby group comes up with.
Members of IndiaTech.org include MakeMyTrip, Ola, Hike, SoftBank, Steadview Capital, Quikr, Matrix Partners, Policybazaar, Kalaari Capital, Urban Ladder, Lenskart, Epiq Capital, A91 Partners and IDG Ventures.
With inputs from Rashi Varshney