R Chandrashekhar

Former President, NASSCOM | IAS

R Chandrashekhar is Chairman, Centre for The Digital Future, Gurugram, a research organization advocating non-ideological, evidence-based policies and regulations that enable the growth of a healthy digital eco-system in the country. He is currently associated with several domestic and international technology-centric organizations in advisory roles and Board positions.

Chandrashekhar was a member of the Indian Administrative Service from 1975 to 2013. As a former Secretary to the Government of India for Electronics, IT and Telecom and President, NASSCOM he possesses a unique breadth of expertise and experience, both in the Government and private sector, that covers the entire gamut of the IT and Telecom sectors.

In the Ministry of Electronics and IT, he was the principal force behind the first National e-Governance Program in 2006 and was responsible for several extraordinarily impactful e-Governance initiatives at the national level such as CSCs, Aadhaar, Mobile Payments, MCA21 & e-Passports. From 2010 to 2013, as Secretary Telecom and Chairman, Telecom Commission, he successfully steered the sector through its most turbulent period in its history. Earlier, during the period 1996 to 2001, he was the Chairman & MD, APIIC and concurrently Secretary, IT of AP. During that period, he spearheaded all the IT initiatives in the state including establishing HITEC City and IIIT and the e-Governance program. He retired from Government service in 2013 with an impeccable record studded with many accomplishments in the field of IT, Electronics and Telecom.

As the President of NASSCOM from 2013 to March, 2018, he was the widely recognized face of the IT-BPM industry in the country and across the world. He took head on the challenge of global market development for the industry while advocating forward-looking and fair policies in other countries in the face of a wave of anti-globalization and protectionism sweeping the world. He is a respected advocate of progressive and open policies that are good for the industry and the country and enable faster adoption of technology, development of the domestic market and acceleration of innovation. Specific industry initiatives for driving the growth of the startup eco-system in the country and building agile, scalable skilling programs for New Age skills bear special mention in this context. In the wake of rising scale, diversity and transformation in the IT-BPM industry in the country, he steered NASSCOM through a transition from a monolithic entity for the entire IT industry into a multi-vertical matrix entity catering to various segments of the industry. In 2018, he chaired the Committee appointed by Government to make recommendations on Key Policy enablers, R&D and Skilling for Accelerating Creation, Adoption and Usage of AI.

Chandrashekhar holds an MS degree in Computer Science from Penn State University and a post-graduate degree in Chemistry from IIT-Bombay. He has received several awards and honors including the Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Public Administration, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT-Bombay, and the Dataquest Pathbreaker of the Year Award.

Speaker Engagements

He has been a lead speaker at several forums on these topics at several industry events, government, corporate and academic programs

A whole range of topics and areas broadly relating to:

  1. Digital Policies and Regulatory perspectives – IT and Telecom
  2. Issues at the interface of Technology, Business and Regulation with a particular emphasis on New and Emerging Technologies
  3. Issues relating to adoption and use of new technologies

Some examples of topics he has spoken on are:

  1. IT-BPM-Start up Industry trends and Developments
  2. Leadership Amidst Disruption at CapGemini, Dell-EMC, Nomura
  3. e-transformation Projects and Risk Management – International Training Program
  4. Innovation, Disruption And Growth: India Amidst Global Churn for Dell-EMC and User Organizations
  5. Digital Technologies & Transformation of Healthcare in India at Healthcare Odyssey Summit
  6. Accelerating Growth by Leveraging Disruptive Technologies: India Strategy at the CIP Forum, Sweden
  7. Evolution of e-Governance & Digital India Ecosystem – eGov leadership prog for CIOs
  8. Emerging Technologies & Policy Making Dilemmas in Telecom at MDI Gurugram
  9. Harnessing Digital Disruption at CEPR, New Delhi
  10. Governance Leadership Amidst Technological Disruption at IIM-V
  11. Digital and New Media Platforms for Change Management Communication – WB-MICA Prog at Bangkok
  12. Tango Between Policy Making & Disruptive Tech – Ashoka University Distinguished Policy Speaker Series
  13. Masterclass on New and Emerging Technologies – WITP Forum
  14. Demystifying Digital Trends In The New Normal & Return To Work Strategies – Nomura Leadership Team

TV Panels and Business News Forums

He is a regular panelist on tech-related developments in IT and Telecom on TV channels including CNBC, ET Now, NDTV24x7 etc.

Newspaper Articles:

He has authored a number of articles in leading newspapers on these topics. Some recent publications are:

  1. Data Protection Bill Skimps on Details – Hindu Business Line Dec 15, 2022
  2. A Word of Advice on OTT And the Draft Telecom Bill – Hindu Nov 25, 2022
  3. Enhancing Digifficiency (Navigating the Digital Regulatory Maze) – The Economic Times, October, 2022
Topics & Formats
  • Digital Transformation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Innovation
  • Digital Transformation
  • Robotics & AI IT & Telecom Infrastructure Defense
  • Commerce & Innovation IT & Innovation Public Administration in India


R Chandrashekhar - Former President, NASSCOM