Kiran Karnik is a prominent figure and guiding force behind the Indian outsourcing industry. He has formerly been the president of NASSCOM, and is now one of its trustees. He has recently been selected as one of three board members as well as Chairman of Satyam Computer Services after the Government of India disbanded the Satyam board.
Prior to joining NASSCOM, Kiran Karnik was the Managing Director at Discovery Networks in India from 1995 – 2001. He spearheaded the launch of Discovery Channel in South Asia in August 1995 and Animal Planet in 1999.
He worked for over 20 years in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He was deeply involved in the conception and overseeing of the Kheda Communications Project. This pioneering effort won wide national and international acclaim, including the first UNESCO-IPDC Prize for rural Communication. Karnik was a key member of the management team for the India – USA Satellite Instructional TV Experiment (SITE), the first every large scale use of satellite direct broadcasting (1975-76), which took education and development to remote parts of rural India. In 1998, he was awarded the Frank Malina medal for Space Education by the International Astronautical Federation.
In 1991, Kiran Karnik joined the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) as its first Director. CEC is the apex body set up by University Grants Commission to co-ordinate and oversee the functioning of media centres in the universities, and is responsible for ensuring the production and transmission of educational TV programmes for college students.
He has worked briefly with the United Nations in New York and Vienna, serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary-General of UNISPACE 82. He has done an extended consulting assignment for UNESCO in Afghanistan, and has also been a consultant for World Health Organization, The World Bank, UN Institute for Disarmament Research and the Ford Foundation.
Kiran Karnik has authored/edited a large number of publications, and lectures occasionally at major national institutes. His educational background includes an Honours degree in Physics from Bombay University, followed by post-graduation from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.