Telecom Manthan'19

Telecom Manthan’19 Emerging Technologies “Creating Demand for Talent Pool Transformation”

Cybermedia held its 2nd Telecom Manthan’19 Emerging Technologies “Creating Demand for Talent Pool Transformation” on 28th of June 2019 in New Delhi. The welcome address was given by Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Cybermedia in a video message from abroad and Arvind Bali, COO, TSSC. Industry key note speakers were Sushil Agarwal, COO, Network Services, Sterlite Technologies , Rakesh Goyal, CEO, Infinity Labs, A Seshagiri Rao, Chairman & MD, TCIL and Amitabh Nag, Head, Public Sector & Strategic Alliances, HP.  Special address was given by N Sivasailam (IAS), Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India. The panel discussions were titled “Paradigm Shift,” “The Next 5 Years,” “The Win Win Collaboration” and “From Job Seekers to Job Creators.”

Telecom Manthan'19Telecom Manthan'19

Arvind Bali, COO, TSSC, said in his welcome address, “The whole change is creating a lot of jobs but a lot of jobs are being lost. There is no other industry that has got so many challenges in the field of skills requirements. Everyone is discussing 5G. The good thing about telecom is that India has really contributed to the country in this field.”

Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Cybermedia, said in his welcome address sent in a video message from abroad, “Voice&Data has been a passenger in the entire journey of telecom in the country and has been instrumental in effecting the changes required in the industry. The telecom leadership forum has been a marquee in the field. We need to define the kinds of skills required to bring the change in this industry.”

Session 1 – Paradigm Shift

Sushil Agrawal, COO, Network Services, Sterlite Technologies, said in his Industry Keynote Address before the Session 1 began, “When the mobile started we were 10 years behind; when 3G and 4G came, we were several years behind, but when 5G comes, we would be in sync with the world. By 2020, half of the global population would be using Internet.  GOI has announced that it will invest about 200 Bn Dollars and the people will have greater connectivity. Sterlite has 4 innovation centres, an STL academy and Sterlite has tied up with the govt and other large industrial enterprises to provide more jobs to telecom professionals.”

Randeep Shekhon, Group CTO, Airtel, said, “As the consolidation happens, there will be lesser number of organisations and hence, less jobs. But the graduates and professionals have to reskill all their lives to stay relevant, as new jobs are being created. ML&AI skills are going to be very relevant in businesses. One common skill which everyone is going to need is to manage data. 5G will require the components of the entire ecosystem to co-exist. There may not be a definite job descriptions. People will have to work in multi-cultural, multi-locational environment. ”

P Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corp Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea, said, “Whether it’s large, small, medium or micro organisation, businesses are getting digitally enabled and creating multiple opportunities. Therefore, to learn new tech is an important skill. People need to adapt to make sure that they stay relevant and they need to stay focused on the needs of the market. Partnerships are also very important because diversity is a way of life. Women are contributing more significantly because of much better connectivity. ”

Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, ICEA, said, “We should do a reality check. From a great economy which controlled 25% of the world’s GDP, the British reduced India to 1% GDP. However, China is 5 times our per capita income. in 2005, China’s per capita income was similar to ours. Today, the reality of India is that the Bihar’s per capita income is 1/3rd of many African countries. The govt fails us and people are not very well skilled.  In India, large corporations are very small in number and they are not globally competitive. Unfortunately, global companies are coming here to exploit the domestic market. Hence, India is nearly a failed economy, with very little export capacity that can dominate the global market. In order to improve, we have to capture the global market. We need to introspect how we can achieve this goal. In terms of skill situation, mobile manufacture has been touted as a great achievement. However, the performance is very poor as compared to global manufacturing companies.”

Pawan Kapoor, former CEO, Bharati TeleTech and Presently, Chairman & CEO, JV International, said, “If we have advanced digital technology, such as AI&ML and the analytics and we can understand what the clients require. Predictive analytics which makes the entrepreneur reach the clients by using the help of analytics scientists. In this environment, there is a need to be creative, reach the clients and use the digital technology.”


Telecom Manthan'19Ibrahim Ahmad, Cybermedia

1st session, Paradigm Shift, had as its Moderator Ibrahim Ahmad from Cybermedia. He said, “The points about diversity, multi-locational work culture and the need to reskill to stay relevant are very relevant.”



Session 2 – Next 5 Years

Rakesh Goyal, CEO, Infinity Labs, said in his Industry Keynote Address before the session began, “17-20 million young people are joining the job market every year. We have the third largest entrepreneurship system in the world and this is growing. The pace of tech shift is scary to a large extent. A major shift will be from closed source to an open source. Traditionally, enterprises feel more secure in a closed source system. But they have to adapt to open source system. They also have to adapt to the shift from humans to machines because of AI, ML, VR, AR etc. This means that humans should do more and more innovation and machines can do more and more monotonous jobs.  The industry has to contribute to reskilling. Some industries are spending money on this, but this has to be a collaborative effort.”

Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director, CDot, said, ”Whether you talk about 5G, AI, ML, where would the jobs come from? The Indian entrepreneurs have to use the data to construct the workloads and create jobs. We have to use these new age techs to solve our problems which are specific to our environment.”

Maj Gen Ravi Chaudhary said, “Services will be in the fields of data analytics, AI&ML, IoT etc. So, the people have to reskill themselves to provide services in these fields. What is required is innovation. When we talk about skilling, we mean that there is a continuous innovation required from the professionals to bring a change. If they don’t understand a technology, they can’t innovate. If we want our workforce to innovate, we need them to have reasoning, understanding and creativity.”

Mukesh Somani, Head, Systems Engineering, Cisco, said, “Telcos are more centralised now. We have more architecture and hundreds of datacentres. We need to produce and consume data there itself. How we can do it is the need of today. IT and Data are proliferating in all sectors. So telecom can use data to create new jobs.”

Sumit Monga, Head, Govt Affairs, Unlimit, said, “The moment we start thinking above the network, we have to think of smart cities. We have to have billions of connected devices. We have to build these devices and skill people in using them. This is where jobs will come in. We’re not nurturing the workforce and start ups. Private sector tries to go ahead, but it’s the govt that needs to provide the support.”

Sakunta De, Former President, New & Emerging Services, Tata Teleservices, who moderated this session, said, “China and S Korea have had inclusive growth. We have to follow their model, not the Brazil, Russia and S Africa model, where the growth is exclusive. We have a long way to go in water resource management, healthcare, education, renewable energy and new power systems.”

Gen Kochchar delivered the closing address to this session. He said, “This is more an environmental and people’s viewpoint. The people have to adapt to the new environment and technology. The new age tech will be a challenge for the HR people. There will be virtuality all around. Jobs will be scarce, but entrepreneurship will be high. Multiple skills will be high in demand.  Data and IoT will bring a big change. Data security will be important.”

Session 3 – The Win Win Collaboration

A Seshagiri Rao, Chairman & MD, TCIL, said, “There should be courses specially designed to enable the students to work efficiently in the new environment. Telecom sectors of excellence should produce concrete skill sets to make up for skill gap. There is enormous change in technology. With the advent of 5G, automation will come and we have to think how to enable our workforce to adapt to this tech.”

Amitabh Nag, Head, Public Sector & Strategic Alliances, HP, said, “Our edge is actually going to be the change in behaviour towards adaption. Tomorrow we shall have a spurt of jobs. We should devise a few pilots and learn from them, rather than just looking at it in a holistic perspective.”

Arun Karna, , MD, AT&T India, said, “The ficus should be on business perspective. Increasingly, a command over soft skills will be very important to stay relevant. Also important in the global scenario will be strategic thinking, designing etc. As long as the industry and the academia can come together, we’re in for success.”

MP Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE, said, “In last one and a half decade, we could accommodate 37 lakhs students every year in the tech education. But we were able to attract only 27 lakhs students every year in the industry. Can we convert the institutes into just like an industry? The industry is not happy with the quality of students coming out. There has to be a huge alignment to match the students quality and the requirements of the industry. The fundamentals of students are weak. When we give them training, they shift to another organisation. We have to revise our curriculum. Some entrepreneurial activity is important. At least 6 months internship is important. But giving this space to 27 lakhs students is very difficult. So, they can give them inside the instts itself and after this they can do internship with the industry. GOI is spending a huge money to the MTech programme and these students can learn on job while in their programme. This can be also done in PhD programmes.”

NK Goyal, Chairman, TEMA, said, “Any tech university can invite teachers from the industry. We talk of AI, ML, IoT and it’s the industry that is building these technologies, not the academia. The curriculum has to integrate these technologies. The industry has to supply the technologists to the academia to enable this kind of skilling.”

Sandeep Bhargava, EVP, Corp Affairs & Public Policy, Vodafone Idea, said, “We evolve tech based solutions for the engineers and have these people for short term courses in the institutes. To fulfil the gap we can think differently and think how best we can collaborate.”

Deepak Maheshwari, Co-Founder, ISPAI & Director, Govt Affair (India, China, ASEAN), Symantec Corporation, who moderated this session, said, “Research, governance, curriculum etc have to be revamped to adapt to the new age tech.”

N Sivasailam N Sivasailam

N Sivasailam (IAS), Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India, delivered the special address to the pre-lunch session. He said, “Logistics sector of skills council has the scope to draw from the telecom industry’s skilling efforts. The future industry is based on our ideas, suggestions and feedbacks. The telecom sector is preparing the ground for the logistics sector of the future.  There was nothing in the telecom policy that was not discussed in the public domain. Hence, it’s a co-created policy. 5G road map is the first action plan based on the telecom policy, which is a futuristic policy. Now we are actually talking about 6G and the concept is being evolved, not only in India, but also globally. When we’re creating the type of tech that we need, we need the base ecosystem. Presently, we don’t have the support structures for the people who want it. Skilling is not a low hanging fruit. It requires the industry voices. If we’re part of the global change, our progress will be complete in terms of our ability of reducing risks, as in our enhancement of knowledge and experimentation.”

Session 4 – From Job Seekers to Job Creators

Anand Mohan Jha, Senior Head, NSDC, said, “The intention is how to create good quality professionals and entrepreneurs. SMEs always say they lack skilled people. Not everyone who gets skilled wants a job. many young people want to run their own organisation or work as consultants or freelancers.”

Yogesh Mishra, VP, Thomas Assessments, said, “There is some glamour that has been added to the idea of entrepreneurship, despite the educational institutions. Everyone can be a founder, but one can be an entrepreneur when one has created some jobs.”

Arvind Bali, COO, Telecom Sector Skill Council, said, “Technology changes very fast. In telecom this leads to job losses. The need to develop skills is very important. The need of skilled people has gone up.”

Dhiraj Gupta, Co-Founder, Mfilterit, said, “Failing start ups can be given support by the successful start ups and entreneurs only. Large enterprises don’t know how to be successful without money.”

Sunil Goyal, MD, YourNest Venture Capital, said, “An incubation centre like in IIT Madras needs to be placed in every college. The professors have to train the students to build an entrepreneurship, encouraging them to develop 10,000 ideas. Every summer vacation they should do internship. They must be sent to the MSMEs to learn about how to manufacture the hardware.”

Bharat Salhotra, MD, Alstom Transport, who moderated this session, said, “Real job creation happens in the MSME sector, not in the large corporations. In the telecom sector, total revenue is 4 lakh crores of revenue and creates 8 million jobs. this is expected to multiply many times with the coming of 5G. The key question is how to set up an ecosystem that is of the right nature and how to convert the people from job seekers to job creators.”

In the context of the event, Mohit Saxena, CTO Infinitylabs said, “If you are studying now, its important to keep pace with automation friendly technologies like ML & AI as the Industry is shifting towards a newer world where software will automate software and automation will automate automation. Make in India is great but making it happen efficiently in India is even greater as it involved the complete lifecycle of upskilling, training, technology incubation coupled with automation at every stage.”

The event also had awards and felicitation ceremony for the participants from the telecom industry.



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