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Indian entrepreneurs stage desi coup as Dream11 founder Harsh Jain elected IAMAI chairperson

Rajesh Magow of MakeMyTrip will become the vice chairperson and Times Internet's Satyan Gajwani will be the Treasurer.

May 26, 2023 / 06:57 AM IST
From left Harsh Jain, CEO and co-founder of Dream Sports; Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip; and Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman, Times Internet,

From left Harsh Jain, CEO and co-founder of Dream Sports; Rajesh Magow, Co-Founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip; and Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman, Times Internet,

The new 24-member governing council of industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) will not have any Big Tech members with Dream11's Harsh Jain set to become its chairperson, as Indian entrepreneurs seek to wrest control of policy-making in the fast-evolving and growing technology and startup sector.

Apart from Jain, Rajesh Magow of MakeMyTrip will be the vice chairperson, and Satyan Gajwani of Times Internet will be the Treasurer, according to sources, forming the industry body's 4-member executive council. Shubho Ray serves as president ex-officio on the executive council.

The other members of the new governing council include Ajay Kaushal of Billdesk; Alok Mittal, Indifi; Aloke Bajpai, Ixigo; Anant Goenka, Indian Express; Anupam Mittal, People Interactive; Ashish Kashyap, IndMoney; Chintan Thakkar Info Edge;  Dinesh Agarwal, IndiaMart; Harshil Mathur, Razorpay; J Murugavel,; Jitendra Gupta, Jupiter; Miten Sampat, Cred; Naveen Kukreja, Paisa Bazaar; Neeraj Roy, Hungama; Nitish Mittersain, Nazara; Rajendra Nalam, Paytm; Ritesh Malik, Innov8; Rohan Verma, MapmyIndia; Sameer Nigam, PhonePe; Upasana Taku, Mobikwik; Vishwas Patel, Infibeam Avenues.

These appointments pertain to the election that the industry body announced for its governing council on May 15. IAMAI had said that 83 of its members were contesting the election for the 24-member IAMAI Governing Council. The top three companies, in terms of votes received, forms the executive council.

These results will seemingly assuage the sentiments of Indian entrepreneurs who were batting for representation of homegrown companies in the industry body's leadership.

Sources said that the decision to keep Big Tech companies out of the IAMAI governing council was a conscious one. There was a sense that the industry body and Indian internet organisations were rubber-stamping the demands of Big Tech, and people were particularly upset with Google related to the Play Store and billing policies.

"I am honoured to be elected as the Chairman of IAMAI. I look forward to working with the Governing Council, IAMAI team and all the members to foster a thriving Indian tech ecosystem that will unlock new opportunities and drive economic growth for India," Jain of Dream Sports said in a statement. He, along with the other governing council members will take charge from the present council at the upcoming Annual General Meeting in June.


These results come after a controversy erupted in April when IAMAI, whose members include both Indian companies and large foreign companies, argued against the need for a separate digital competition framework aimed at regulating "anti-competitive practices" by Big Tech companies, in a draft submission.

Indian entrepreneurs had slammed IAMAI, saying that a digital competition law was indeed necessary and insinuated that the industry body's stance on the matter reflected the composition of its leadership.

Many Indian entrepreneurs and a few Big Tech companies had thrown their hats in the ring for the much-coveted posts of the chairperson, vice chairperson, and treasurer.

'No bearing on future relationship with IAMAI'

Outgoing executive council members include Google's country head and vice president Sanjay Gupta as chairman, Meta's director and head of India public policy Shivnath Thukral as vice chairperson, and Razorpay CEO and co-founder Harshil Mathur as treasurer.

Industry sources say relationship of companies like Meta or Google will not be impacted by the results because they have been long-standing members of IAMAI, and their engagement is across all such trade bodies where they continue to interact, irrespective of positions they may hold.

Moneycontrol has reached out to Google and Meta requesting comments on the IAMAI election results. The article will be updated when a response is received.

Aihik Sur covers tech policy, drones, space tech among other beats at Moneycontrol