Debjani Ghosh
Debjani GhoshTwitter/DebjaniGhosh

Come March 2018, and industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) will see a woman president leading the association for the first time. Nasscom announced the appointment of Debjani Ghosh as its president on Friday, November 10, and she will take charge after the completion of current president R Chandrashekhar's term.

In a statement, the apex industry body announced "the appointment of Debjani Ghosh, former MD, Intel South Asia, as the Nasscom President-Designate, succeeding R Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom upon the completion of his term in March 2018."

While this might be the first time that the association will be led by a woman, Ghosh is not new to Nasscom as she has been a member of Nasscom's Executive Council and a trustee of Nasscom Foundation.

Speaking about Ghosh's appointment, Raman Roy, chairman of Nasscom, said that the association under Ghosh will continue work towards innovations and skilling. "The industry is today at a very interesting inflection point and Nasscom has a key role to play in catalysing the next phase of growth of the sector. Under Debjani's leadership, Nasscom will further enhance its initiatives in innovation, disruptive technologies, skilling and new market access," Roy said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Current president Chandrashekhar also said that he believes Ghosh's experience will work wonders for Nasscom and wished her the best.

Ghosh too said that she is happy to take up the position and noted that she "firmly believes that Nasscom is much more strategically placed than any other forum to drives the IT agenda of the country."

"These are exciting times for India in terms of the industrial and digital revolution that it is undergoing," she added.

Meanwhile, Ghosh was with Intel since 1996 for 21 years and quit the firm in February 2017. She has held numerous positions at Intel and has played a key role in its growth. She is said to have worked closely on the Digital India project as well.

"She has been extremely passionate and committed to helping the country make progress on its vision of Digital India and she has decided she would like to devote more of her time and energy to this endeavour," Jerry Tsao, vice-president - APJ Regional Sales Group, Intel, had earlier said.

She currently is an independent director on the board of Yes Bank and is also a member of Cisco's India Advisory Board. Ghosh has also been associated with MAIT and FICCI.

Ghosh has often spoken about how her childhood played an important part in her leadership skills. She once told Your Story that she was the only girl in the family and had 12 elder brothers. Her family always supported her and treated her as equal. "That made me compete in the corporate world dominated by men without being apologetic or without being scared," she explained.

She also revealed that travel was a very important part of how her ideas were moulded and due to that change never scared her. "Somehow I believe this will help you and train you to embrace change, which is a tremendous asset in the corporate world."

Speaking about what she does beyond her professional life, Ghosh said that she is "an avid, avid, avid reader," and has read some titles "hundreds of times."

"The standard ones that I would go for on a rainy day are by P G Wodehouse. I love Ayn Rand, I think she really understands human beings. Some classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, I have read hundreds of times, and will keep reading many more times I guess," Ghosh revealed.