WTA’s Membership Director, Randall Barney, has interviewed Rajeev Kaushik, Newtec’s Regional Sales Director to share his viewpoints, experience and knowledge on the Indian market and its trends. This interview is part of WTA's Executive Dialogue Series and was recorded at Convergence India in New Delhi, February 2017 .
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What products and services are you featuring at the show?
Rajeev: Our focus is on offering broadband services to the masses in India, something that is very much required. India has a very big telecoms network and many operators, but there is still a huge demand for broadband delivery to the masses. The common man needs good quality Internet with acceptable bandwidth so it can help with development and education. Because of this, our focus for the show is not on a specific product, but on delivering the right technology for the people, the companies and the operators.
What are the unique challenges and opportunities in this region?
Rajeev: Every country has its own challenges - India’s come from a regulatory aspect. Current regulations don’t enable services to be delivered to the masses at an affordable price and the regulations mean VSAT can only be afforded by corporate and SME customers. Technologically, we can offer equipment that is efficient, but regulation makes it expensive for the common man to use – that is the biggest challenge in the Indian market.
The Indian government is pushing for a Digital India where everything has to be online and every village is connected. Education is of utmost importance, so there are many very good opportunities to deliver connectivity and broadband services in every corner of the country. This is a time of opportunity for the government - as well as private operators – to help people to receive education, healthcare and broadband services.
How are your solutions helping operators improve efficiency and reduce cost?
Rajeev: We have designed a number of solutions that offer the best possible efficiency and reliability. We offer networks that are highly reliable and provide end-to-end solutions – for example, offering Wi-Fi capabilities with our broadband solutions, so we can deliver high-quality bandwidth, directly to the people.
What are visitors talking about at this year’s Convergence India?
Rajeev: Recently there has been a big disturbance in the market, both from a commercial and a regulatory perspective. The government is doing a lot of things to develop the economy of the country and has taken some bold steps to do it which will work long-term, but currently the market is a little bit slow. This may be because of the cash crunch or possibly because people are being patient, but the general questions remain the same; how do we get reliable and efficient equipment so we can continue to operate, how can we deliver end-user services at an affordable price?
People are also talking about regulatory hurdles we have mentioned as well. We are willing to offer the right services in the right framework, but the regulations are challenging. However, there has been an effort from both the industry and the government to change this. There is a lot of lobbying, companies are offering suggestions to the government and white papers have been produced. The government is considering those and we are expecting major changes in the country in a year or two, which will help us offer the right solutions to operators.