India's digital revolution ramps up: RCom CIO

Elizabeth Coyne
TM Forum

This article originally appeared on the TM Forum blog

As the digital revolution reshapes the global business landscape, every person, company and industry is learning to navigate a complex set of new opportunities and threats. Sponsored by IBM and Oracle, TM Forum’s Digital Leadership Summit in Mumbai on Sept. 11, takes executives from across India through the key challenges of digital transformation with C-level speakers from Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Tata Communications.

In this Q&A, Alpna Doshi, chief information officer at Reliance Communications and vice chairman of TM Forum’s Board of Directors, talks about summit and how it’s taking executives from across India through the key challenges of digital transformation facing leading Indian and international businesses.

What are the specific challenges Indian operators are facing today?

Doshi: Indian operators are facing four types of threats: over-the-top (OTT) players, spectrum licenses and the cost of the same, price sensitivity by customers, and the cost of servicing customers through various channels.

What is the current state of the digital economy in India and how is Reliance undergoing business transformation to adapt?

Doshi: The year 2013-14 has seen a fast track on digital economy in India. With over 200 million internet users and 4.5 million being added every month, India will soon become the second largest internet user base. On the side of e-business, there has been a spurt of sites for retail, ticketing, matrimony and travel. Leaders that have crossed the billion mark lately are startups like MakeMyTrip, Snapdeal, Flipkart and InMobi.

With the penetration of 3G, there is more on the anvil and a strong business case for a lot more e-commerce. Focus on better infrastructure and a push to innovation in the area of e-commerce will soon bring greater services to the large user base. mWallet will be the next step to take the digital economy to new heights.

Reliance is cognizant of these changes in the ecosystem and ready to take up the necessary transformation. To quickly adapt to the changes, RCOM is on track towards a plug and play architecture allowing easy integration of third party modules for various e-commerce transactions. From an application perspective we are evaluating products which allow services to be managed easily through policy engines hence making infrastructure and services an easily deployable entity. Furthermore we are looking at big data as a great enabler allowing targeted e-commerce transactions with a high rate of conversion.

How can TM Forum’s Digital Leadership Summit help with that transformation?

Doshi: We look to TM Forum to assist us in evaluation of products in the e-commerce space, policy control space and analytics through a framework that allows us to set standards for various process that allow seamless e-commerce transactions to flow.

How is Reliance playing a role in the summit as a thought leader?

Doshi: As a thought leader we can spearhead use cases for the following digital economy initiatives: an end-to-end e-commerce platform; increasing the role of operator in OTT segment through bundling and partnership; security measures in a digitized world; partner integration and settlement.

TM Forum’s Digital Leadership Summit, held at the Courtyard by Marriot Mumbai International Airport, is for select service providers only and offers a highly interactive and unique opportunity to interact with leaders in the Indian communications industry. To find out more information, visit the event website.

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