Investment inflow in infrastructure, logistics and telecom industry is of utmost priority for NITI Aayog, which will also aid India’s economic growth and development deliberated Mr. Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert, NITI Aayog in a session organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on ‘Role of Telecom Infrastructure in Digital Services during COVID-19’ on 10th August, 2020
Mr. Ajit Pai, mentioned that the Arogya Setu App attained its desired success due to efficient telecom infrastructure in India. While the basics of infrastructure are in place, but we still have a long way to go for state of art-infrastructure in Telecom sector. Telecom, digital technologies, and its penetration in India enabled us to smoothly manage our work during the times of the pandemic. The quality of communication was smooth with less interruption, said Mr. Ajit Pai.
Giving a brief about Bharat Net Project, he mentioned that while we are focusing on infrastructure and technology, focusing on its usage in our daily routine is also of prime importance. The government and NITI Aayog are undertaking collaborative measures for the growth and development of this sector and making it swift, time-saving, and cost-effective.
Mr. Ravindra Pandey, Deputy Managing Director (Strategy) & Chief Digital Officer, State Bank of India in his deliberation discussed the importance of telecom for mobility. He mentioned two things that form the backbone which includes a new vertical that has been created to look after the financial inclusion and developing the agricultural sector by boosting it with digitalization by reducing the footfall of customers in the banks.
He highlighted the need to improve the mobility infrastructure and improving the consistency in the communication channel. Telecom infrastructure needs to be consistent with seamless connectivity. Due to the pandemic, the digitalization of banking services has increased creating an opportunity to uplift the digital and telecom infrastructure to cater to future needs of the Nation. With an increase in the power and telecom consumption, up-gradation of infrastructure is of paramount importance.
Mr. Arun Karna, Management Director & Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Global Network Services India Private Ltd in his presentation discussed that COVID-19 is not a short-term thing, rather it has accelerated the need for digital services and existing trends and made changes for the long term. He also discussed how the priorities of enterprises have changed since COVID-19 by improving operational efficiency; reducing costs; maintaining market shared and competitiveness; increasing consumer satisfaction, accelerating product development, improving supplier relationship etc.
He deliberated on the digital transformation that is delivering edge to edge capabilities, change in the customer expectation and the intervention of Artificial Intelligence network in driving digital future and transformation along with the coming up of 5G network technology, leading the path towards a technology-driven future.
Mr. Badrinath Kilambi, Head of IT Department, AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd mentioned as to how telecom was the backbone of our ecosystem during COVID-19 and sectors like IT, telecom and infrastructure depend on banks for support. Mr. Badrinath Kilambi mentioned that the consistency and reliability of the telecom and digital services are of the utmost importance for the development of the nation.
Video Conferences, business meetings, online education have all been possible from home. The e-servies, OTT platforms, e-commerce and e-governance have increased significantly during the pandemic, said Mr. Kilambi
Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Sr. Vice President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his welcome address while deliberating on the current Covid-19 spoke about how only in these times have we realized the importance, need and stability of telecom infrastructure. Mr. Aggarwal mentioned that the pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance that telecommunications infrastructure plays in keeping businesses, governments, and societies connected and running. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic has made people across the globe rely on technology for information, for social distancing, and working from home, added Mr. Aggarwal.
The current pandemic has painted an entirely new image of growth for certain sectors, especially the telecommunication sector, which has played the role of a lifesaver for the companies and individuals during quarantine and lockdown. Given the quick spread of COVID-19 and an increase in countries imposing restrictions on movement, our daily lives had required more time at home and more usage of data for work and leisure, resulting in a significant impact on the Telecom sector, said Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal
Giving an overview of the Telecom sector in these crucial times Mr. Aggarwal said that even as the COVID-19 pandemic is catalyzing digital transformation across business models, channels and touch points. Underlying this shift is the need for greater organizational agility as well as closer ties with customers in changing world order.
Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, Chairman-Telecom Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his deliberation mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that digital connectivity is critical to societal resilience and business continuity in times of crisis. We have now gone digital and this pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies.
India needs to invest heavily in telecom infrastructure. Capital investments need acceleration. Organizations are reimagining their business models, relooking at talent management strategies, and fast-tracking digitalization efforts to be more resilient to disruption. Banking and payments, critical pillars of the economy, are among the core areas that have seen a major uptick in digital offerings and adoption, said Mr. Aggarwal.
While appreciating the Government’s reform in the Telecom Sector in these trying pandemic times Mr. Aggarwal added that the digital payment volumes are also receiving a boost through the Government. They were once a convenience but have become a necessity in these times.
Mr. Alok Mukherjee, Co-Chairman-Telecom Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry while moderating the technical session, gave an overall industry perspective and how it worked during the times of COVID-19. He also deliberated about the need to enhance the Telecom Infrastructure in Digital Services in the country.
Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Principal Director, PHD Chamber, delivered the formal vote of thanks to all the delegates along with moderating the session. The session also witnessed the presence of Mr. Vinod Jain, Chairman and Mr. Jyoti Prakash Gadia, Co-Chairman of the Banking, Financial Services & Insurance Committee, PHD Chamber along with other industry stalwarts’ pan-India. The session was supported by AP Mahesh Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd and was attended by around 100 participants from the industry.