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India has witnessed rapid growth in phone connections in the last two decades and emerged as the world’s second largest telecom network. At 423 million internet users, India is the second largest in the world. Urban tele-density is 173% and for the rural India, it is 57% now and increasing. Telecom technology has been continuously evolving; many new applications such as IoT, machine to machine communication are emerging.

One of the recent studies by ASSOCHAM and KPMG showed a bullish outlook in terms of creation of new jobs. And on the other hand, there is consolidation in the industry reducing the number of operators and hence, reduction in the number of jobs. Given this backdrop, what is in store?

This shall pass away:

The immediate issue of job losses and hardships is for real. The individuals and their families have to overcome this hurdle. There are sectors other than telecom; they value work experience of Telecom; for example, skills like sales, marketing, business enabling roles such as IT, HR, finance, general administration, legal are valued in several other sectors. Secondly, there could be a few opportunities in another player within the sector. Last but not the least, this is an opportunity to explore the paths that caught one’s attention but one did not pursue them due to several other reasons. For example, entrepreneurship, further studies, teaching are possibilities.

Over the last few years, competitors have dropped pricing in order to lure customers and been servicing huge debts leading to erosion of margins. The current developments of acquisitions leading to optimization of workforce will do a lot of good to the industry though the customers could eventually see gradual pressure on their wallet. Time will tell if the customer will see a corresponding value in the increased spend.

Stay on the cutting edge:

The sector is so competitive that the market players are busy in activities and they expect the employees to be running on a treadmill all the time. In the process, one keeps the muscles flexible and agile; however, the muscles do not necessarily build their strength and sustainability. One has to go for a different regimen to build strength and live long.

Many of us have the misnomer that the employer company is responsible for development of our skills. But, the reality is that organizations can only facilitate learning but the onus of keeping oneself fit and strong lies on the employee.

As technology has been changing and new methods of doing one’s job are in vogue, one must keep an eye on these, develop one’s skills on a continuous basis. Sectors like telecom have been seeing major changes in quick succession. It is an opportunity for a practitioner to be on the fast lane and learn from them. It is not only true for the engineering talent but also for all the functions in the sector. While the core of the business keeps evolving, all roles in the business have to be adapting quickly as well. And at the same time, it is a threat for someone who wants stability and resists quick changes. One has to be on the cutting edge all the time!


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