iSPIRT adds 50 donor members

Sangeetha Chengappa Bangalore | Updated on August 20, 2014

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In an industry dominated by software service companies, iSPIRT, an independent think-tank formed last February to champion the cause of Indian software product firms, has beefed up its Founder Circle Donor members of 30 to an 80-member core team.

The 50 new Product Circle Donor members represent a cross section of the software product industry from across the country.

They represent enterprise mobility, big data, cloud, analytics, security, healthcare, e-learning, workflow and collaboration spaces.

Sixty per cent of the companies focus on enterprise software, 30 per cent on B2C (business to consumer) software and the rest on the SMB (small and midsize business) space in India.

While 55 per cent target the US market, 30 per cent target India and around 15 per cent eye the emerging markets. The Product Circle Donors were selected to join iSPIRT (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table) by invitation only, and of the 61 invitations sent out, 50 accepted.

Three conditions

“The three conditions they had to meet to be selected by iSPIRT are, they have to believe in our cause of making India a product nation; believe in the way that we further the cause through volunteering; and afford to donate to the cause,” Sharad Sharma, one of the 30 Founder Circle Donor members, told BusinessLine.

“We already have a sizeable corpus of donated funds that will sustain us till 2020. We have selected the new members with the idea of building deeper donor relationships that go beyond donations into volunteering for the cause; members who will act as a sounding board on what we should and should not do as a think-tank,” he said, without divulging the corpus amount collected to date.

New member companies

Some of the new member companies are Ola Cabs, Canvera, Hotelogix, K-Point, WebEngage, Akosha, Vizury, FreshDesk, DataWeave, SimpliLearn, NowFloats, Wingify, Uniken, MobMe, Subex and iYogi.

iSPIRT also spelt out who couldn’t join – MNCs, service companies and venture capitalists. “We believe that donors provide the financial muscle for iSPIRT to achieve its mission of making India a product nation.

“While we appreciate this contribution, there is a risk, albeit a small one, that donor clout can result in mission capture. We manage this risk in two ways.

“First, we ensure that we have a broad base of donors and no one company is a dominant donor. Second, we exclude categories of donors where future mission conflict can happen,” said Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners, who spearheaded the creation of the product circle donors along with Anand Deshpande of Persistent Systems. Both of them are Founder Circle Donors in their individual capacity.

He said this group of 80 is now small and niche, yet deep enough to champion the industry cause in areas such as software adoption by SMBs, policy advocacy and the M&A connect programme.

Published on August 20, 2014

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