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MindTree, Cognizant Execs Elected Nasscom's chairman, vice-chairman

BANGALORE: IT Software industry bodyNasscom on Monday named Krishnakumar Natarajan, managing director and chief executive officer of Mindtree LtdBSE -0.56 %, as its chairman for the year 2013-14. R Chandrasekaran, group chief executive, technology & operations of Cognizant is the new vice-chairman who will replace Natarajan as chairman after a year. Natarajan, said the demand outlook for India's $70billion software services export sector is looking better than it was a year ago.

He also said that Nasscom will have greater focus on creating an environment that is conducive for software product firms and businesses that focus on the emerging areas of internet and mobile as the sector targets revenues of $300 billion by 2020. "There is a need to encourage entrepreneurship as a lot of innovation in technology will come through start-ups," he said. Natarajan succeeds N Chandrasekaran, managing director and chief executive officer of 
Tata Consultancy ServicesBSE 1.73 %, who served as the chairman for 2012-13.

Last month, a Nasscom committee headed by former 
InfosysBSE -0.35 % chairman NR Narayana Murthy had said that Nasscom would expand its focus areas to software products, internet and mobile among other emerging technologies, partly in response to growing noise levels within the industry body that it is too narrowly focused on IT services and caters only to large services providers.

About the near term industry outlook, Natarajan said large corporations in the US and Europe are now willing to invest more in technology than a year ago. "Signs are more positive. Companies are spending on technology to gain significant advantage in businesses. By and large conversation with customers tend to be more positive," he added. Client spending on technology is typically seen as an indicator of the Indian IT industry's growth.

Over the past two to three years, Indian IT firms have been impacted by a slowdown in client investments and sluggish economic growth in some of the large markets.