The country's telecom industry is expected to generate 40 lakh new jobs in the next five years, spurred by growing potential in rural markets and rising internet penetration, say experts.
The bullish expectations come at a time when the government is making efforts to connect all 2.5 lakh village panchayats with high speed broadband network.
According to experts, surge in demand would be seen for skilled technicians, engineers, installation and maintenance service providers, sales, marketing, HR, in the sector.
"The telecom sector has been growing aggressive(ly) at an average for 35 per cent a year for close to two decades. Though the boom period of this sector is over, it continues to be a large job creator," Randstad India CEO K Uppaluri said.
Going by Randstad's estimates, the sector is likely to create about 40 lakh direct and indirect jobs over the next 5 years "fueled by increased penetration into rural markets as well as growth of mobile Internet and broadband services".
According to component manufacturer TE Connectivity, the telecom sector has been one of the largest employers in the last decade and would need around 2.75 lakh people by 2015.
"The challenge will be to get the right talent," TE Connectivity India & SAARC Network Solutions Director KK Shetty said.
"Once the bandwidth comes into place and digitalisation takes over, we will see substantial employment opportunities in content provider industry and related services industry," Shetty added.
Experts also opined that making more spectrum available and rationalisation of tariffs, among others, would help in boosting the sector.
"The overall challenges faced by telecom sector currently are - technology upgradation, network upgradation and availability of sufficient spectrum," Deloitte Haskins and Sells Partner Hemant Joshi said.
Observing that the telecom sector has lost decades in research and development (R&D) and technology innovations, Joshi said various measures were required to address these challenges.
These include partnership between public and private organisations, setting up world class R&D and testing labs, access to low cost funds and skilling college graduates.
Lighthouse Partners Managing Partner Rajiv Burman said, "more spectrum being made available by the government by getting defence establishment to relinquish the huge amounts they are sitting on, will give a fillip to growth of mobile telephony and increase the demand for telecom gear".
Spectrum Talent Management Director Sidharth Agarwal noted that "more innovation and newer line of products and services are the only ways to augment business in the sector, thereby boosting hiring on an overall basis".
Meanwhile, Uppaluri said that with the increased adoption of technology "where professionals will have to re-skill to take up roles and move up the value chain".
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