Indian telecom sector may witness mass layoffs in near future: experts

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The future seems bleak for telecom professionals in India as the sector may witness mass layoffs in the near future as per some experts with whom THE WEEK spoke to. The challenge is that the sector itself will not be able to generate new jobs say for at least the next couple of years. Experts say that the Indian telecom sector has off late seen many changes in the last few months foremost amongst them being the merger of Vodafone and Idea and also speculations about the shut down of Tata Teleservices by the Tata Group. As per media reports, the Tata Group is considering shutting the Tata Teleservices business after its plans to sell the ailing company either to Bharti Airtel or to Reliance did not materialise.

“There are talks that the Tata Group is planning to make an exit plan for around 5,000 employees of the struggling Tata Teleservices which has a debt of more than Rs 30,000 crores,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Head Hunters India Ltd. “Plus the merger process of Vodafone and Idea has already started and that will surely have an impact on the overall employee strength of the merged entity. For instance, post the merger, there will be only one entity in each telecom circle as currently they operate as a separate unit in each circle. There would be a single operational head, one HR head rather than multiple positions. So it is imperative that there would be job losses post the merger and it can be as much as 7,000 people. I feel that the juniors would still be able to adjust in some BPO or IT companies but many of the senior level people will have no option but to take salary cuts in different other companies. The sales and marketing people on the other hand can look for an alternative in consumer brands or retail chains etc.”

Another expert, Prof Mahadevan Subramanian, a faculty at TAPMI and Institute of Rural Management, Anand and who has been following the telecom sector in India for long, feels that the Tata Teleservices had undergone a long period of struggle trying to get critical presence.

“The company failed to make any impact with its CDMA network in the first 10 years ever since its inception. After a short period of relative success when they launched GSM with the DOCOMO brand name, they lost the plot. In fact, the company had lost the plot in the telecom business quite some time back. Pulling the shutters down brings the agony to closure,” said Subramanian.

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Topics : #telecom | #Layoff

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