Print Mr Kiran Karnik

Mr Kiran Karnik

Trustee - NASSCOM Foundation and President India Habitat Centre

Q-2A Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110016

Mr Karnik held the office of President of NASSCOM, the premier trade body and the “chamber of commerce” for the IT software and services industry in India, till January 2008. During his tenure at NASSCOM, industry exports grew almost 8 times and NASSCOM became a globally known and respected brand. He has been recognized as the guiding force for the Indian IT industry, especially for his leadership of the industry during the outsourcing backlash in the US and elsewhere. By providing perspective and background information, he has been instrumental in promoting India’s technological strength to the world.

Prior to joining NASSCOM in 2001, Mr Karnik was the Managing Director at Discovery Networks in India where he spearheaded the launch of Discovery Channel in South Asia and Animal Planet (a Discovery – BBC joint venture). Preceding this he was Founder-Director of the Consortium for Educational Communication, which was responsible for the Countrywide Classroom broadcasts and other ICT initiatives of India’s University Grants Commission.

Earlier, Mr Karnik worked for over 20 years at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), where he held various positions including that of Founder-Director of ISRO’s Development and Educational Communication Unit. He was a key player in the pioneering India-USA Satellite Instructional TV Experiment (SITE) and was deeply involved in the conceptualisation and planning of the multi-purpose INSAT system.

He has worked at the UN in New York and Vienna as Special Assistant to the Secretary-General of UNISPACE 82; done consulting assignments for WHO, The World Bank, UN Institute for Disarmament Research, Ford Foundation, and an extended one for UNESCO in Afghanistan. He has been on many key government committees, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister and the Central Employment Guarantee Council. Presently, he chairs the International Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Connects Programme.

Mr Karnik also has a deep involvement with a number of NGOs in the areas of education and environment. He is currently honorary Chairman of the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (a university set up by the Delhi government), Chairman of Vigyan Prasar and President of India Habitat Centre. He serves as an independent Director on a few company Boards; he chaired the government-appointed Board that took charge of Satyam Computer Services in 2009 and oversaw its successful rehabilitation and sale.

In a career spanning almost four decades, Mr Karnik has been conferred many awards and accolades. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 (a civilian honour conferred by the Government) The Kheda Communications Project, in which he was deeply involved, won wide national and international acclaim, including the first UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication. He also regularly writes for various major national publications and occasionally lectures at important national institutes and international conferences.

A post-graduate from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Mr Karnik holds an Honours degree in Physics from Bombay University.