Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crowded Future

Telecom adds 15 million telecom users in Jan 2009.

Yup, we are growing and growing too fast. It's heartening to see such a growth as India sits high and mighty with the second largest subscribers in the world. Having worked in a telecom company for four months, I believe my friends still working there would be partying and slogging too maintaining the network for an ever increasing user base.
But is the picture all that rosy. My thoughts are particularly influenced (rightly so) by Thomas L Friedman and there is enough reason to believe him.
Imagine 15 million sim cards sold in a month; an ever increasing stress on the production of already scarce resources. But till how long can telecom grow ? India's penetration rate is 20%, that means that rural market is still waiting to be on the consumer list. So if in the 20 years they too join the middle class (stats say by 2016,entire south India will be middle class) and own a phone, computer, car (If a cheaper nano comes) and get into realizing the 'American Dream' Then what ? Telecom will cater to the population growth. What about the moolah then ?

Will the millionaires come from people with Telecom stocks in highly populated countries such as India and China ? Nah! That is were our vision, I believe is lacking.
Those investing in clean technology will be the ones on forbes riches list. Since, they'll be cleaning all the e-waste being generated by our old phones, discarded sim cards and the unusable telecom infra and India (I hope not) will still lag behind as a rich and unhealthy nation . The reason - Not enough incentives given to produce clean technology.

This is our one chance to lead the world in terms of showing the path. Our government needs to promote institutions to promote environment friendly technology. Moreover, petrodictators, who I believe are behind the funding of Taliban will be adversely affected, since by relying too much on oil will be indirectly funding terror. We've done such things in past, like the non-violent movement of freedom and I believe we can and will do it.
ET- What slowdown? Telecom adds 15 million telecom users in Jan