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Telecom sector has helped us expand other operations: Sameer Khanna of Ericsson India

Wednesday, 7 May 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The telecom sector is a major employment sector that has been helpful in producing jobs for many other industries. Be it IT, marketing or sales, the sector has been instrumental in helping in the expansion of their operations, says Sameer Khanna, Head of Human Resources, Ericsson India in a chat with Patricia Mascarenhas

1. Do you think there is an increase in the demand for telecommunication technicians in India?
Telecommunication is one of the fastest growing industries, especially in India. India has 1/4 of all mobile connections in the APAC region with almost 900 million connections. This figure is expected to rise to 1.16 billion by 2017. We are also at the cusp of massive data growth. With multiple gadgets and instruments being used daily at homes and offices, services to enable communication and cater to the customer needs have also evolved.

2. Scope?
Telecom today not only offers job opportunities in urban cities but also in rural areas. As technology evolves, all major telecom companies need skilled technicians, non-technicians, and engineers for the creation of products, installation and service of equipment and processes, customer support and sales. There are regular job openings for various posts like software or application engineers, networking and testing, quality analysts, product managers, network security administrators, customer support staff, and some other functional jobs in mobile telephony, internet protocol media systems, wireless communications, etc.

3. Is there a skill gap in this industry? What do you think needs to be done or is done to reduce this gap?
Skill gap is a challenge which is faced not only by the telecom industry, but across all sectors. Universities and educational institutions are working hard to address these challenges and are working with various organisations to update their syllabi in tune with the high speed changes taking place in the world of ICT.

4. What challenges does it pose for the industry?
At a micro level, this means that Industry has to train the graduates in addition to their formal education. At a macro level, the shortage of appropriately skilled labor across many industries is emerging as a significant and complex challenge to India's growth and future. Hundreds of millions of young people, who will flood the job markets in the next decade, are unable to find the right technical knowledge they require.

5. Tell us about Ericsson's EMPOWER Programme
Ericsson's EMPOWER is a customised telecommunication certification programme that combines practical knowledge with simulated training, to empower and make young telecom engineers industry ready. Ericsson launched its Empower brand in September 2009 and joined hands with 12 engineering institutions. Through Empower brand, Ericsson maintains relationship with students and universities in three phases. CONNECT– Internship opportunities at Ericsson for students, EXCEL- Telecom training opportunity to students and CAREER– Job opportunities with Ericsson through the trainee programme. Today, Ericsson has association with over 75 universities/ technical institutes across India. So far we have trained more than 11000 students under EXCEL certification programme.

6. What is the aim of this programme?
EMPOWER is aimed at bridging the growing demand supply gap for telecom professionals in India. The training programme is designed to give students the maximum exposure possible and keep them involved with Ericsson for an entire year.

7. Advice to aspirants?
With the evolving business dynamics of the Indian telecom sector, there is an increasing need for skilled and well-trained staff to handle various customary and emerging roles in this sector. Willingness to Learn, eagerness and quickness to adapt to changing environments is a paramount requirement. Apart from that one needs to have technical expertise and a flair for communicating well and partnering with others to be successful in this domain. Having a positive attitude is the key.

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