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India’s telecom is a success story – Can it be replicated?


India’s telecom juggernaut is still going strong. Though the ARPU’s are going down, it still adds 10 million subscribers every month. That increases the communication inclusiveness for India as a whole.

Research suggests that mobile phone penetration is directly linked to the economic activity of  region. It can contribute to as much as 5% increase. The tele-density of India is now at 40% though slightly skewed towards urban areas.

Indian telecom is directly contributing 1.5% to the GDP. Any given day, Indian telecom will be a case study in many management areas. Strategy, leadership, marketing and few other things. How can we apply this success to other sectors in India?

In the TED Talk of charter cities, Paul Romer talks about how having a well-developed city like Hong Kong, which he calls a charter city, has helped China gain economic prominence. It then has set-up few other areas as the special economic zones to spread the economic activity. He also argues that there can be multiple charter cities across the world which countries can leverage.

If we try to apply the same principle to sectors, and take Indian telecom as a charter sector, can we apply the same principle or slightly modified principle for other sectors? India needs a new sector to rise to meet the employment needs of India’s rising young population.

Information Technology cannot be that sector because it only makes a select people rich and touches select demographics. If we look deeper there are auto rickshaw’s, paan wallahs, cab drivers, house owners and many more stakeholders who were benefitted by the IT boom. Did I forget the real estate darlings? But the impact is superficial and did not leave the metro cities.

What would that sector be? Biotech, Cleantech, microfinance, insurance or some completely new industry? Or am I wrong about IT?

  1. Bipin says

    I think a lot of scope is left in telecom , esp mobile VAS , mobile applications to emerge as a complete industry in itself and not just dependent on carriers. In this regard, we started Please do take a look.

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