Quote from Mr. Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry, India on Pre- Budget expectations:
Good governance, investments and progressive policies hold key to next phase of the telecommunications growth in India
The Indian telecommunications industry, in the last decade has seen staggering growth which has positioned India not only as an attractive telecom market but also the second largest globally. The sector has grown by 20% CAGR and the mobile subscriber base has crossed 900 million mark, second only to China. More importantly telecommunications coupled with information technology has been the driver of economic and social growth of the country across sectors. A progressive budget under the new government should therefore aim to power the sector back to the days of fast growth and enhance profitability, especially in context to the challenges that have put the industry through a rough phase over the last couple of years.
The good news is a steady government that will boost innovations with good and stable policy decisions. From the early signs we can already see strong FII confidence as well as strong interest for FDI in the telecom sector. The governments’ decision on extending the excise and duty structure announced in February this year is a welcome step. Secondly a stable regulatory regime that addresses friendly taxation regime; rational fees and clarity around spectrum charges and trading; reviewing and laying a strong foundation for mergers and acquisitions will be vital for the growth of this sector. Maintaining affordability with respect to hardware and services both will be desirable to keep the consumer sentiment buoyant. Accessibility and affordability will continue to be pivotal for this segment to drive adoption and mobile penetration to help bridge the connectivity barrier and positively impact the socio economic fabric of the country.
Another key area that the government is also emphasizing on is manufacturing and development of 100 smarter cities. Impetus to local manufacturing, with specialised incentives can help create a healthy telecom ecosystem and build on the country’s prowess to emerge as an electronic component manufacturing hub. Also with IoT emerging as a huge opportunity with the Governments’ smarter city vision, mobile and IT players will have to develop and drive innovations to make it a reality.
As technology becomes the backbone of governance and Industries in India, security becomes core to drive proliferation of this segment. The recent Heartbleed bug exposed the growing concern in the area of cybersecurity and mobile malware. The new Government must take steps to drive adoption of Data Security on Mobile devices, particularly in sectors related to Finance, Healthcare and other critical sectors. This will ensure unfettered usage of mobile handsets for internet access, with world class Security solutions embedded in the same.
The success of this new government will therefore depend on a stable and progressive regulatory regime, a friendly investment environment, complete policy clarity and inclusive innovations!