The telecom sector is bracing for a major upheaval as it may have to let go of more than 60,000 employees in the coming months. Experts say that it is likely to happen by the end of this financial year as a result of consolidation that is forcing operators, tower companies, and infrastructure providers to optimise their resources. According to a report in the Economic Times, some 65,000 employees, mostly in customer support and financial functions, are likely to lose their jobs by March 31, as mentioned by TeamLease.
These two segments are expected to let go of 7,000-8,000 employees.
Paul Dupuis, CEO of staffing firm Randstad India said that there will be an impact to the tune of 60,000-75,000 jobs in telecom and infrastructure provider sectors in 2019, as mentioned in the daily. He said that they expect this trend to continue through 2020 with similar number of redundancies for the segments mentioned.
Co-founder of TeamLease, Rituparna Chakraborty said that job losses will ease as the industry stabilises. Additionally, companies are looking to hire for segments such as artificial intelligence and big data. "We are over the worst hump and now companies are looking to hire in areas like AI, big data and 4G network expansion. The first two quarters of FY19 saw the worst and that is over," said Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, as mentioned in the daily.
TeamLease said that while there will be substantial job losses, there will also be new roles such as project management and IT infrastructure, which will be created in large volumes. Roles such as data team leaders, technical directors and network installation are expected to be on the rise.
As a result of price war, some operators were forced to bow out of the game, while others had to merge. An industry executive told the daily that some 15,000-20,000 jobs were lost up till September 30. The sector already had to let go of 1 lakh employees and saw an attrition rate of 20%-25% on average in 2017-18 as Vodafone and Idea merged, Reliance Communications and Aircel bowed out of the game and Bharti Airtel set out to buy Tata Teleservices.
As per estimates of Randstad, an HR consulting firm, the telecom sector employs 25 lakh employees across segments such as service, retail, infrastructure and vendor domains.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)