Sandeep Sudeep, Vice President, Telecom, NEC Corporation India

NEC Corporation India has been a key partner in India’s technology growth story. The company has supported medium and large enterprises in their digital transformation journey while also actively participating in government’s missions of Digital India, Make in India’ and Self-Reliant India. Sandeep Sudeep, vice president, Telecom, NEC Corporation India, talks about India’s evolving technology landscape, impact of Covid-19 and NEC’s focus areas…

How has the network technology landscape in India evolved in recent years?

Over the years, India has made massive investments to ensure advancements in the ecosystem, and initiatives like Digital India have improved connectivity across cities and villages. The country has taken a giant leap in the digital revolution through 4G.

The number of internet users in India exceeds the aggregate number of internet users in some developed economies. The county is home to the lowest per GB cost in the world; 1GB of data in India costs $0.26, compared to an average of $6.66 in the UK and $12.37 in the US.

Network technology has seen an enormous shift. Network has evolved from traditional 2G to mainstay 4G. Mobile data is witnessing exponential growth. This trend will give way to 5G soon. To support massive data, entire downstream network infrastructure will gravitate itself wherein high capacity and coverage will become the dominant forces.  Parallel to this, network technology will also follow the path of IT.  Network virtualisation, agility and cloud based architecture have started taking shape and will only grow multi folds from now on.

What are NEC’s key focus areas in India?

Some of our focus areas include smart city initiatives, development of 5G network, transportation and logistics, public activities and infrastructure, and making digitisation more robust and efficient.

We have identified some 5-6 key growth drivers and are looking at how we can create solutions based on the ‘new normal’. We continue to partner with the government to derive solutions based on the new models. I think well-planned public-private partnerships will be a game-changer for India in the coming years.

Overall, under our ‘India Go Big‘ initiative we are leveraging our solution development and delivery capability from India to aid the global business growth and serve as a worldwide delivery hub for offshore support & product development.

How has the outbreak of Covid-19 impacted the operations?

While the overall economy has taken a hit due to the lockdown, many businesses have reached their pre-covid levels due to the right technological interventions. To further strengthen the economy, the government and IT incumbents are coming together to offer solutions best suited to the new normal and place people’s health and safety as a priority. We at NEC India have a significant role in developing India’s digital infrastructure during these crucial times. For instance, we have completed the Chennai-Andaman 2,314 km long undersea optical fibre cable project, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in August, 2020. This marquee project was completed on time despite the hurdles faced due to the global crisis. The improved connectivity will enhance commerce, education, and tourism opportunities in the region.

We also assisted Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority and Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation in creating smart war rooms to combat the spread of coronavirus. Our recently launched integrated command and control centre in Saharanpur, under the Smart City initiative, will effectively manage and monitor city’s everyday operations.

What are the expectations of global investors from the Indian market?

A continued focus on ease of doing business, building flexibility in the regulatory framework and upskilling population will help attract global investors. As we expand our portfolio and the depth of solutions and services offered both in the Indian market and globally, NEC Corporation India has good support from the global team. From an investment perspective, the emphasis and focus Japan has for India is massive.

Going forward, what will be NEC India’s growth strategy?

For several decades, NEC has led from the front in partnering India in its transformation journey. With our ‘in India, for India & from India, for global’ strategy, we are focusing on strengthening our R&D efforts and developing innovative solutions at NEC Laboratories India.

We believe that telecom will become the core driver for the entire India landscape. With 5G, every industry will witness huge transformation opening up innovative revenue streams for industry verticals. At NEC Corporation India, 5G network infrastructure will be a key growth driver.

Going forward, to support our business and expansion plans, we are looking at increasing our employee strength from 6,000 to 14,000 employees in India by the end of 2023. Additionally, our recent rebranding from NEC Technologies India to NEC Corporation India reflects it’s the growing importance of Indian market to the NEC Group’s global business.