India’s telecom sector’s revival is in full swing with job openings set to double in the ongoing fiscal year to 38,000 as service providers prepare for 5G rollouts with their technology partners.
The growth comes after years of uncertainty that saw the exit of various telecom companies and led to financial stress.
Hiring experts believe that hiring activity in the telector sector is also driven by the rapid evolution of new technologies like AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced data analytics and edge computing. Demand for people skilled in these technologies will further increase once Indian telcos commercially roll out 5G services.
Experts added that roles requiring skill sets in cloud, data compliance and cybersecurity will also see aggressive hiring.
The Indian government is expected to auction 5G spectrum sometime next month, while private telcos hope to launch commercial services within the ongoing fiscal year. Telcos have started modernizing their networks to support 5G technology.
“This has led to a shift in skill requirements in the sector with a demand for candidates who are equipped with new-age skills,” Deval Singh, business head at recruitment firm TeamLease Services was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
According to TeamLease, India’s telecom sector currently employs around 4 million people, which is expected to grow to 6 million by FY 2026.
Bharti Airtel, for instance, has already started hiring for its new technology centre in Pune to support digital services, especially 5G in the Western region. It plans to hire 500 digital engineering professionals by the end of the current fiscal for the new center, which will be its fourth digital technology hub in India.
Telecom companies will soon be competing with the country’s IT sector to attract people as both sectors now require similar technical skill sets.
“The forecast growth in the number of jobs from 19,000 in FY22 is expected to come from a need for skilled professionals in the field of network engineering, network operations, data analytics, and automation,” the publication reported citing hiring experts in the country.
According to job hunting portal Monster.com, India’s telecom sector witnessed 13% average growth in hiring in FY 2020 whereas a dip of 1% was marked in FY 2021 followed by a huge jump of 29% in FY 2022.
The non-profit Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) claimed in its recently released report that there was a combined demand of over 150,000 positions in 5G, cloud computing, AI and big data analytics, IoT, mobile app-development and robotic process automation. TSSC also claimed that there was a demand supply gap of almost 28% in India’s telecom sector.
Experts said that there is a need to re-skill and upskill the existing workforce to bridge the supply and demand gap.
Earlier this month, TSSC announced plans to boost skill infrastructure and the workforce, and train 100,000 people in the next three years in 5G, IoT, AI, ML and M2M. It plans to open ten new Centres of Excellence across the country.
“We’re focused on providing the workforce demand for the growth of the 5G ecosystem in India. With OEMs setting shop in India, they will need a plethora of job roles to set up their supply chain. We aim to aid the ecosystem with a world-class skilled workforce for 5G and allied technologies,” said TSSC CEO Arvind Bali.