The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) appears to have become a 'mouthpiece' of Big Tech companies, according to People Group founder Anupam Mittal. The Shark Tank India judge had on Sunday called the IAMAI "a failing lobby for BigTech propaganda & misinformation."
Mittal's remarks came in response to a tweet by MapMyIndia chief executive officer Rohan Verma who alleged that the association is 'parroting' and 'promoting views that are anti-Indian and pro-foreign Big Tech'.
"Either IAMAI must change immediately to truly reflect the voice & aspirations of India - OR IAMAI must be given no credence. Every country has its own trade bodies who promote their domestic companies in their domestic market & enable them internationally. Sad to see various Indian trade bodies lured by & acting on behalf of the interest of foreign companies. Foreign companies are certainly welcomed in India, and appreciated - but know that it is your privilege to have access to the Indian market, and that you definitely don't have a right to plunder India," Verma tweeted.
These comments come after IAMAI prepared a draft document arguing against the need for a separate digital competition law for Big Tech firms. The industry lobby will submit its draft to the Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL).
The MapMyIndia CEO asked the industry lobby to get its website up and running again so everyone knows who the people behind the organisation are and what its charter currently is.
Verma highlighted that IAMAI's executive council was currently led by Sanjay Gupta, country head & vice president, Google, as chairman, with Shivnath Thukral, public policy director, India, WhatsApp Inc, as vice-chairman. "I hope everyone realises that the Chair & Vice Chair of IAMAI are from the Foreign Big Tech. Sad to see an org originally founded by and for Indian companies, taken over & now promoting a false narrative. IAMAI views & submissions to govt & media on digital policies, regulations, laws etc are completely wrong and antithetical to what Indians - consumers, industry, government – need," he tweeted.
Queries sent by Fortune India to IAMAI did not elicit a response at the time of publishing.
Established in 2004, the Internet & Mobile Association of India, or IAMAI, is a not-for-profit industry body representing the digital services industry. It claims over 450 Indian and multinational corporations as its members, which include established companies in diverse sectors of the digital ecosystem as well as startups.