( Employability Skills for Indian Mobile Phones Telecom Sector First Author: Rishi Kapal, BE, LLB, PGPM (Vice President-Sony Mobile Communications, India) Abstract It may not known to many that after Alexander Graham bell invented the first telephone, Motorola’s Martin Cooper is understood to have created the first mobile phone, followed by IBM-Bellsouth making the first Smartphone. However, in the present day, not much is heard about the companies that pioneered the mobile and Smartphones revolution.
Indian telecom sector story is only getting better by the day, however, the growth sustenance and leveraging technology for better use in only possible if our population could be transformed to a real productive employment asset. In this paper, the important aspect of employability in Indian telecom Sector will be highlighted INTRODUCTION Indian telecom industry underwent a high pace of market liberalization and growth since 1990s and now has become the world’s most competitive and one of the fastest growing telecom markets.
The Industry has grown over twenty times in just ten years, from under 37 million subscribers in the year 2001 to over 846 million subscribers in the year 2011. India has the world’s second-largest mobile phone user base with over 929. 37 million users as of May 2012. It has the world’s third-largest Internet user-base with over 137 million as of June 2012. [pic] THE RISE OF INDIA MOBILE PHONES INDUSTRY The explosion of mobile phones sector is attributed to the following three factors: 1. Opening up of new technology 2. Convergence of computing and telephony 3. Mobile Phones Enablement
OPENING UP OF NEW WIRELESS TECHNNOLOGY Till 2010, India was a pure-play GSM and CDMA technology driven country whereas rest of the world had moved to 3G(HSPA+) and few advanced nations(like Japan) already launching LTE(Long Term Evolution) high speed wireless technologies. Post the 3G and BWA auctions in India, the wireless technology landscape started changing and alongside it brought the need for differently (enhanced) skilled professionals to handle new technology and associated devices. A brief snapshot of the wireless technologies deployed in India is below: [pic]
India today is on the forefront of telecom services and related content. This changes the way the telecom products are conceptualized, priced, launched and their life cycle is managed. Not much of this is known to the budding leaders during their academic orientations. CONVERGENCE OF COMPUTING AND TELEPHONY In today’s world, computers are used to make voice calls (Gtalk, Skype) and phones are used for data access. So each device has evolved from its original function and become multi tasked. This convergence of devices ecosystem is happening due to the following:
For most time in computing technology, microprocessors were traditionally associated with computers and other IT related products. However, since the last two years, phones are also sold based on the GHZ speed of processor that makes them run, various related aspects like single core, dual core and quad core processors. Now, this has brought about a major shift in consumer behavior whereby a buyer actually decides about a phone not just by looks and geeks but begins with the processor strengths and data speeds supported.
This all comes with perceived compromise on battery life however the mobile phones processor manufacturers are fast gaining ground in terms of optimizing battery life for higher processor power. MOBILE PHONES ENABLEMENT A natural question about why is the mobile phone industry growing at a strong pace is obvious. Firstly, India is now moving to be a strong mobile replacement market. The mobile sales ratio is skewed to replacement buyers as compared to first term buyers as per industry sources. Hence there is a two-fold demand now.
Alongside, mobile phones have become the first internet access device for the youth and hence the mobile internet penetration momentum is making up the volume. Lastly, a mobile phone is no longer a luxury and is affordable by anyone, at a cost as low as $15. All these factors are leading to a strong growth in mobile phone sales. MOBILE PHONES DISTRUBUTION SYSTEM Let us now examine the mobile phones sales and distribution systems to better understand the required skills that need to be acquired by professionals aspiring to work in this sector. [pic]
The firs layer does product sell-in to the second layer which in-turn works for shop level product placement and sales. The final sales to end customer is referred to as Sell thru. The mobile distribution model is extremely dynamic and need of the hour may change regularly due to competitive launches and initiatives. Each product has its own merits, positioning and technological implications. Traditional models of distribution don’t always work in realms of the mobile words due to the amount of need-of-the-hour and flexibility mechanisms required to be adopted. EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS FOR THE MOBILE SECTOR
ROI : Relationship, Ownership, Initiative • Relationship: mobile phone industry is too diverse and needs one on one relationship mapping with the ecosystem stakeholders in product development and distribution. The • Ownership: professionals without adequacy of understanding of ownership will not cut it into the telecom • Initiative: India is a distribution led mobile market, unlike the mature markets like US where wireless operators dominate mobile phones sales channel. Every skilled professional aspiring for working in the Indian telecom sector needs to have self initiative to innovate reach and execution.
Alongside the above, the professionals must understand that the mobile phones propositions are undergoing a change: VRS (Value, Range, Service) • Value : value proposition to the customers is fast changing with the advent of Smartphones • Range: Customer associated with brands that have a range(portfolio) and not one off products(iPhone is an exception) • Service: Post sales support for sophisticated devices has become a strong reason to buy. As per the nationwide study conducted by MeriTrac, of marks secured by 2264 MBAs who sat for tests by recruiting companies, only 21% were found to be actually employable.
The latest figures show a sharp decline – the last such survey done in 2007 placed employability at 25%. Drawn from over 100 B-Schools beyond the Top 25 in the country, the students who were covered by the survey were tested for verbal ability, quantitative ability and reasoning. This despite the fact that more and more B-schools are mushrooming across the country churning out hundreds upon thousands of freshly-minted MBAs every year. There are other cornerstones of employability skills required in the mobile sector that are influenced by • Consumer purchase behavior • Mobiles Operating System CONSUMER PURCHASE BEHAVIOR [pic]
The above purchase behaviors dictate a different skill set required in professionals dealing with individual or a mix of groups above. A person aspiring to work in the mobile sector must know the purchase behavior intricacies that are closely linked to the technology supported by the phones. MOBILE OPERATING SYSTEMS There are few dominant mobile operating systems viz Android, iOS, Symbian and RIM OS that are most dominant in India. Windows is a fast emerging ecosystem supported by Microsoft and Nokia. A professional must know the advantages of each OS so that the right strategy of product and marketing management can evolve.
The strength and diversity of operating system is also ensuring that a mobile phone becomes much more than a mere communication device. It now is a gadget that effects and influences one’s lifestyle, something no one can deny or ignore. [pic][pic] A mobile phone does off jobs of a compass, mirror and a rattler as well. These contemporary, un-orthodox applications are becoming a reason to inquire and buying a phone by many. SUMMARY Indian telecom sector will provide employment to around one crore people by 2012, a study by PwC has said.
The telecom industry will provide about 28 lakh direct jobs and around 70 indirect jobs by 2012, the study commissioned by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and done by PwC said. While the above aspiration is good to have however the industry is able to attract talent but struggling to get the right one. The employability skills required for mobile sector include a thorough understanding of mobile phones technology, various operating systems, consumer purchase behavior, OEM to Market distribution model and multi screen convergence.
There are too many mobbing parts in the Indian mobile phone industry and the same are not evidently addressed as a subject matter in various institutions. It is important for colleges to step up and recognize that lack of employability skills for the telecom and especially mobile phone sector leaves the new industry entrants in a very awkward and “ I don’t know much” state of mind. This can definitely be changed with institutions opening up their gates to industry professionals and to consulting companies specializing in transition of classrooms to telecom corporates.
Steadily, now certain learning and development organizations are evolving that dedicatedly focus on transition programs for students, aimed at the telecom and mobile phones sector. Organizations like MindActiv Consulting (www. mindactiv. co. in) are pioneering in this critical requirement and having the right industry resources at their disposal. Strong and structured programs by MindActiv and such organizations are going to be much more required in the immediate future when the push back for better employable andidates will come from the telecom industry itself. References: 1. The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators June 2012, TRAI 2. Economic Times Article August 2011: Telecom sector to provide 1 crore jobs by 2012: Study 3. Times of India, August 7, 2012: Only 21% MBAs in India employable: Survey 4. Industry sources About the author: Rishi Kapal completed his schooling from Delhi Public School, RK Puram in 1989. This was followed by a degree in Electronics Engineering in 1993 from Shivaji university.
He started his career with HCL in 1993 and during his ongoing career p of 19+ years, has worked with coveted organizations like Tata Telecom, Ericsson, Castrol, Sony Ericsson and Qualcomm to name a few. Presently, Rishi is a Vice President with Sony Mobile Communications. During his professional tenure, Rishi completed his PGPM from International Management Institute and LLB from CCS University. Rishi is passionate about instilling employability skills in the budding new leadership generation and is closely associated with the academia sector for guest lectures and grooming students for their first corporate interface.
He has a strong knowledge of management practices required in students pursuing graduate and post graduate courses and has prepared specific training and orientation modules for employability skills enhancement in students. ———————– The total revenue of the Indian telecom sector grew by 7% to [pic]283,207 crore (US$53. 53 billion) for 2010–11 financial year, while revenues from telecom equipment segment stood at [pic]117,039 crore (US$22. 12 billion).
The depicted increase in telecom penetration has been facilitated with a strong and every growing mobile phone industry, reaching an unprecedented proportion of more than 12Million handsets sold in India every month. IOIP: Most popular, individual pays for the phone and owns it IOCP: Individual owns the phone, paid by the company COCP: Company purchases and provide the phone to employees LTE TDD and HSPA+ is already launched in India. The country is now neck to neck with the world on availability of latest wireless technologies.
Alongside, consumers are much more aware of the broadband phenomenon and the benefits this advent can deliver. The access device for the new technologies has to be a mobile phone since other consumer equipments are bulky and more appropriate for inhouse only. With this evolution, the need for skilled workforce in technology, strategy, sales, marketing and operations and much more diverse and unique as compared to that exists today. The Indian handset market is growing consistently with a rate of over 12% annually, of which the Smartphones base is expected to grow at a rate of over 60% year of year.
The advent of operating systems like Android along-with new broadband wireless internet access technologies is opening up the mobile phones space in India. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) works on three retail engagement models: • Master national distributor: imports the products and then associated with regional partners for placement and sales • Direct Billing: to exclusive stores and conglomerates of high importance • Entrepreneurial Regional partners: Distributors with strong regional command and those who want to deal directly with the company.
With the changing shape of Indian telecom sector and need for the skilled population to keep up with the industry resources requirement, there are six dimensions of employability skills that the professionals must have in order to leap into the telecom sector. Each of these dimensions is unique in terms of the capability build up required in professionals, especially graduates and post graduates. Mobile phone industry is part of a unique eco system and must be studied and imbibed from close quarters.