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Veterans Unpacked | Harish Mehta: "Spend 10% of your time on building and growing your industry"

"Growing the overall pie has a compounding effect on growth of your share of the pie."

April 04, 2022 / 01:12 PM IST
Harish Mehta worked with leading IT experts such as F.C. Kohli and Nandan Nilekani to start NASSCOM in 1988.

Harish Mehta worked with leading IT experts such as F.C. Kohli and Nandan Nilekani to start NASSCOM in 1988.

Note to readers: How ​do corporate leaders surf life after hanging up their boots? What do they do next? What are the lessons they learned in their eventful journeys? What advice do they have for the current crop of leaders? Veterans Unpacked is a series of interviews aimed to offer readers lessons from retired bosses on life outside the corner office.

Veterans UnpackedHarish Mehta founded Onward Technologies in 1991 - he remains its executive chairperson to date. In addition, he founded the not-for-profit organisation NASSCOM which represents India's technology industry. He is also an angel investor and spends considerable time mentoring younger entrepreneurs and with start-ups.

Mehta graduated as an electrical engineer from College of Engineering, Pune, and also received a masters in electrical engineering (specialisation in computers) from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He returned to India after six successful years in the US. Mehta worked with leading IT experts F.C. Kohli, Nandan Nilekani, and others to start NASSCOM in 1988. In 2017, he was honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for 25 years of exemplary contribution to NASSCOM.

He is the former Director of Gujarat Venture Funds Limited and a founding member of Infinity Venture Fund, India's first corporate VC fund. He introduced the Silicon Valley-based organisation TiE  to Mumbai after which he served as its first president in Mumbai in 1999 and then as a member of its global board in 2001-2002.

Looking back, can you tell us about three interesting events or anything that has stayed with you since?

If you had to relive your corporate career, what would you do differently?