It’s not only to upgrade the kill of workers, but it’s also important to implement skilling cross an organisation. Tilak Raj Dua, DG, TAIPA, discusses about it. Excerpts
Voice&Data: As India gears up for 5G, broadband for all, IoT, and a host of new telecom business and technology models, what are the key competencies that telecom professionals should possess?
TR Dua: Telecommunication services have emerged as a key driver of economic and social development in an increasingly knowledge-intensive global scenario. The Indian telecommunication sector has undergone a revolutionary transition in the last two decades to become the world’s second largest telecommunication market with more than 1.1 billion subscribers connected through 5 lakh mobile towers mounted with around 20 lakh BTSs. As per the Government’s report, the mobile sector’s contribution to the GDP, which is presently 6.5 percent and will increase to 8.2 percent by 2020.
With the advent of 5G technology, emerging technologies such as IoT, M2M, AR, VR and AI etc., India is all set to witness technological paradigm shift, and will unfold the new revenue streams and positive societal benefits through its numerous benefits in different sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, energy, healthcare, retail and smart cities, etc.
A recent report by by FICCI, NASSCOM and EY estimates that
- 9% of India’s 600 million IT workers will be hired for the new – age jobs of the future, while 37% of the Indian workforce will be deployed in jobs that call for advanced skill sets.
- 40% of IT professionals in India need to reskill themselves to stay relevant.
This clearly proves that the current business environment calls for re-skilling the skilled professionals to match the new age industry dynamics. Identifying and implementing digital platforms across an organisation is a crucial skill that will increase the operational efficiencies.
To reap maximum benefits, revenue and for optimum utilisation of this technology, the upcoming technologies and competencies that should be focused by companies across the industries includes
|Artificial Intelligence||For making machines smarter by adding intelligence to understand perform tasks|
|Applied Machine Learning||For analysing existing data to predict future outcomes|
|Blockchain||For ensuring data authenticity and integrity in various areas|
|Big Data Analytics||For accumulating, storing and analysing data for enhancing efficiency of an organization and aiding better decision-making|
|Cloud Computing Technology||For reducing cost of maintaining IT systems of an organization by moving its business to the cloud|
|Cyber Security||protecting data captured by companies, generated by millions of apps|
|Financial Technology||For revolutionizing conventional financial services|
|User Interface & User Exchange||Design of mobile apps|
Further, with the constantly evolving technology deployment in the telecom industry, the skill requirement for the workforce of the tower industry players is also evolving. They need to regularly update the skillsets of their operational teams. A strong product innovation team can give a competitive edge to the tower players by driving the latest technology projects like fiberised backhaul implementation, alternate energy source installation and other key R&D projects. A new breed of energy managers will also have to be trained on analytics so that they can identify key issues with the energy management at the tower sites.
Broadly, tower companies would consider developing skills around:
- Product innovations team to drive alternate access technologies and backhaul related projects
- R&D and alternate energy sources (solar, fuel cell)
- Training programs for Energy Managers across circles on analytics
- RAN sharing services
- Additional skill set to provide highest order of quality operations & maintenance (O&M)
- Site analytics management skills
- Technical skill set for managed services and small cell implementation
Voice&Data: What role can a company like yours play in building the right telecom talent pool for India?
TR Dua: TAIPA closely works through the governing council of TSSC for the measures, plan and strategy for building the right telecom talent pool in India.
Voice&Data: What are the big challenges that you see today when you want to hire professionals that can build next-gen telecom networks, products, and services?
TR Dua: In order to reap the demographic dividend of the young booming population, it is necessary to keep pace with next-generation technology or digital skills. Disruptive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, cyber security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G and Internet of Things, etc., have unleased the digital realm. It is upon the sectors to ride the exponential growth wave that they offer. Using these technologies innovatively will require tremendous amount of expertise. However, we are facing a widening digital skill gap.
A recent report by Gartner points out that almost 60% of the Indian companies, while gearing up to boosting their data and analytics capabilities are facing a sever challenge with non-availability of talent.
A recent NITI Aayog National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence states that the country will have a demand – supply gap of almost 2 lacs data analysts in a couple of years.
In a nutshell, there are three challenges that demands immediate attentions are as follow:
- Future skill gap
- Business skill gap
- Learning and unlearning skills
Voice&Data: What would be your advice to educational institutes where the foundations of aspiring telecom professionals are laid?
TR Dua: We would like to recommend that institutes must collaborate with the industry to ensure comprehensive skill development of candidates and industry’s hands on experience would give an impetus to the skill enhancement of the youth and prepare them for the real-world situation.
Voice&Data: What role and support from the Government will help the industry and the academia to speed up quality and scalable telecom talent pool?
TR Dua: With marquee programmes such as Skill India Mission, which includes various other programmes such as National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Skill Loan Scheme, etc. are helping extensively to develop skill and re-skill youth of the nation.
In addition], the Government, the academia and the industry must focus on collaborating with the private sector to revamp the conventional teaching and educational institutes to provide practical training to students for helping them learn industry skills required for a successful career.
The successful partnership will provide students with much-needed opportunities to develop skills and hone their capabilities under the able guidance of industry experts. This will make the learning process more interactive.
Further, the choice of self-learning, being aware of the market needs and working smartly towards being value creators and being not just job seekers is in the hands of individuals.
Apart from this, the institutes must focus on creating skill-based Universities. For instance, the newly-launched Bhartiya Skill Development University (BSDU) in Jaipur, is the first purely skills University in the world. Its mission is to create opportunities for skill develop for Indian youth to make them globally employable.
Voice&Data: What will be the hot-selling skills of very high value for service providers, as well as equipment and handset companies?
TR Dua: TAIPA strongly believes skill set around artificial intelligence will be the most hot-selling skill that will be of high value for service providers as well as equipment and handset manufacturers.
This is because AI will extensively help in bringing operational efficiencies, while mitigating the risk of errors and operating wastage. The technology will also help in mapping the forthcoming risk by analysing the data.
In the telecom infrastructure industry, AI will have a strong role to play by analysing the data consumption round the clock, thereby finding out the lean and busy of the network site eventually bringing-in the network operational efficiencies.