By Jenny Malina, Semester at Sea, Spring 201

“The rich get richer” is a phrase commonly associated with negative perceptions of the upper class and top 1% of the population in the United States. However, The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) brings new meaning to the phrase in India. NASSCOM is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 designed to facilitate and encourage the development of IT Services through start-up businesses in India. Members benefit from support for service quality and enforcement and from the 6-month mentorship program, which focuses on assessing strengths and weaknesses of mid-sized companies.

NASSCOM was started when its founder recognized a need for startup support given the business landscape in India, which strongly encouraged high performing individuals to work for large, name-brand organizations, rather than start their own businesses. By offering services, connecting businesses with financing, and passing legislation in favor of entrepreneurial ambitions, NASSCOM helps increase Indian support for entrepreneurial endeavors. In doing so, they create a domino effect throughout society and help gain support for entrepreneurs and innovators who are successfully changing the business landscape without previous recognition. The overall impact on society is extremely positive because the startup culture helps propel India’s development forward and encourages young graduates to start their own businesses, helping the economy dramatically.

NASSCOM also gives women the opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship by offering equal opportunities to all qualified applicants. More recently, they have launched the 10,000-startup initiative, which aims to assist 10,000 Indian startups with funding and launching. So far, the program has had very positive feedback and successfully launched an IPO for one of its participant organizations.

In summary, NASSCOM eliminates the risk factor of starting one’s own business by ensuring the only potential losses are the opportunity costs associated with a company’s founding. These may include time and progress from other jobs, but typically exclude monetary losses because NASSCOM connects entrepreneurs with investors at the start of a project. Thus, the overall impact on society has similarly been very beneficial.