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Interview with Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications

March 28, 2017

Interview with Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar,...

In an interview with tele.net, Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications, talks about the current trends in IoT deployment in India, policy initiatives required for increasing IoT uptake and the challenges involved...

What are the key trends in IoT deployment in India?

We are seeing a significant increase in the demand for IoT solutions across Asia. In India, we did see many pilot IoT projects take off in 2016. Most of these projects will turn into full-fledged IoT deployments in 2017. In 2016, many successful pilot IoT projects were launched in India. These solutions will be deployed as the confidence in IoT grows among businesses and the government. Segments such as logistics, e-commerce, healthcare, government and smart cities will be the ones to watch out for as solutions in these segments have already matured and are aligned to the end-user expectations. The IoT market expected to touch $9 billion over the next three years. Any organisation of any size can deploy IoT to further innovation, realise new revenue streams and elevate customer experience. But the need is to have an appetite for technology-driven innovation.

How has been the global IoT experience?

These are interesting times for IoT. The ecosystem is evolving and with the arrival of 5G, the industrial IoT adoption will get a boost. From connected cars to soil quality monitoring, IoT is touching lives like never before. Data analytics is supporting this growth in many ways. So far data analytics has managed to keep pace with the explosive growth of data generated by IoT devices and that is a huge positive. On the usage front, IoT is now being powered by newer flavours of wireless communication protocols, new business models and efficient data crunching. All this will eventually lead to reduced cost of ownership and a user friendly customer experience. In the near future, I see IoT becoming as ubiquitous as smartphones.

What are the policy initiatives required for proliferation of IoT?

Research and development and capacity building have been rightly identified as thrust areas by the draft IoT policy brought out by the Indian government. At a ground level, we need to focus on using IoT to solve urban/rural challenges with the government acting as an enabler. What is needed is for the government to bring all stakeholders together to work towards the identified vision of a secured, connected and smart IoT-based system powering diverse initiatives. In critical areas such as healthcare, there is ample scope to do much more. For instance, tele-medicine can get a much needed boost through IoT. We need to also prioritise skill development as part of the overall capacity building exercise.

What are the key issues and challenges in increasing IoT uptake?

I would not call these challenges as these are also opportunities that exist within the larger context of IoT. Almost 20 billion IoT-enabled devices will go online over the next half a decade. There will be need for an IoT-skilled workforce to manage them and we need to invest in training and upskilling our workforce to ensure we capitalise on this opportunity. Adequate skilling capacity needs to be created for this by attracting investments from within the country and outside. Connectivity in remote areas is another aspect that needs to be looked at.


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