In a significant development for the Indian tech industry, Dream11’s Harsh Jain ascends to the chairmanship of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry body of digital firms, will witness an all-Indian executive council as Harsh Jain, the founder of Dream11, prepares to assume the role of its Chairperson. The shift comes amidst criticism of the IAMAI’s position on a proposed digital competition framework, with detractors suggesting the body’s previous stance reflected the Big Tech representation in its leadership.
A Changing Landscape
Apart from Jain, other Indian entrepreneurs are assuming key positions within the IAMAI’s leadership. Rajesh Magow of MakeMyTrip is slated to become the Vice Chairperson, while Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet will undertake the role of Treasurer, insiders revealed to Moneycontrol.
This all-Indian executive council signals a significant shift from the outgoing council, which comprised representatives from international Big Tech firms like Google and Meta. This change appears to alleviate the concerns of Indian entrepreneurs who advocated for greater representation of homegrown companies within the IAMAI’s leadership.
The Controversy Behind the Change
The reshuffling of the executive council follows a controversy that erupted in April. The IAMAI, whose membership includes both Indian and large foreign companies, argued against the need for a separate digital competition framework. This framework aimed to regulate “anti-competitive practices” by Big Tech firms.
Indian entrepreneurs contested this stance, insisting on the necessity of a digital competition law. They implied that the IAMAI’s viewpoint on the matter reflected the influence of Big Tech firms within its leadership. The upheaval highlights the broader tension between indigenous tech firms and their global counterparts operating in the Indian market.
A Victory for Desi Entrepreneurs
The ascension of Harsh Jain and his Indian colleagues to the IAMAI’s leadership is seen as a victory for “desi” entrepreneurs. This move could potentially influence the industry body’s stance on critical matters such as the digital competition law, providing a more balanced viewpoint that reflects the interests of both global and homegrown companies.
Many Indian entrepreneurs and several Big Tech firms had vied for the prestigious positions of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer, adding to the significance of this indigenous entrepreneurial triumph.
As the newly elected council takes over the helm, the tech industry will be keenly observing whether this change in leadership will lead to a shift in policy stances and advocacy, thus creating a more level playing field in India’s booming digital economy.