Bharat Bytes: Airtel hiring; India’s customer engagement readiness; Tablet market growth; 5G testbed; Kirana stores go digital

Bharat Bytes is Computerworld India’s regular round-up of news from the world of IT.

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Airtel to hire 500 people for new digital tech hub in Pune

To support its transformation into a digital telco, Bharti Airtel is establishing a new technology centre in Pune, and aims to hire around 500 digital engineering professionals by the end of the current fiscal.

"Pune being an established IT and tech hub, makes it an obvious choice for Airtel to tap into the talent pool and also drive cross-industry collaboration," Bharti Airtel chief information officer Pradipt Kapoor told PTI.

Airtel would hire across multiple domains, including Big Data, Machine Learning, Dev Ops, and Tech ops.

With an eye on 5G services, which are on the horizon, this will be Airtel's first technology hub in the Western region and fourth overall in India. Airtel employs close to 3,000 people across the digital technology hubs in Bengaluru (Airtel X-Labs), Noida, and Gurgaon.

India ahead of global counterparts in customer engagement readiness and technology investment, study reveals

After being shook by the pandemic, it seems that Indian organizations are getting back on their feet and are in a stronger position with respect to their global counterparts, when it comes to dealing with customers in a 24x7 digital marketplace, a release from customer engagement solution provider Verint, said.

As per the latest study by Verint titled Engagement Capacity Gap (ECG) Benchmark Diagnostic, Indian firms were the top investors in customer engagement solutions in 2021, which has made them more resilient and better poised to close the customer engagement gap.

The study shows that Indian CXOs have been able to strike the right balance between automation and the human touch to better serve customers by deploying efficient self-service solutions for customers to decrease transaction load and by enabling employees with better tools and training to support consumers when required. Cloud, AI/ML, Knowledge Management and Workforce Optimization are the tools that Indian firms most need to invest in, to keep the momentum going.

The survey was conducted amongst 2,742 decision-makers across 13 key global markets. Over 250 CXOs were from India who oversee customer engagement and experience solutions for their organizations.

Indian tablet market grows 68% in Q1 2022

The India Tablet market grew 68% year-on-year, while 4G Tablets recorded growth of 74% YoY, according to a Cybermedia Research’s Tablet PC Market Report Review for Q1 2022.

According to Menka Kumari, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, “Driven by the pandemic and the continuous rise and ebb of the COVID19 cases, many of the sectors are persisting with hybrid or remote work. This is continuing to fuel the adoption of Tablets for work, e-learning and content consumption use cases.  The education and healthcare sector have contributed to the uptick in the overall tablet market in India.”

Shipment of Tablets with 8 inches display constituted 26% of the overall shipments in the Indian market. On the other hand, Tablets with 10-inch and above displays contributed to 61% of the shipments, CMR’s

Lenovo (36%), Apple (22%), and Samsung (22%) captured the top three spots in the tablet leader board in Q1 2022, followed by Realme and Lava in Q1 2022.

PM inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 May, 2022 inaugurated the country’s first 5G testbed. The initiative will enable industry players and start-ups to test their products locally, thereby reducing dependence on facilities abroad.

“I invite the young colleagues of the country, researchers, and companies to use this testing facility to build 5G technology. This is a great opportunity, especially for our start-ups to test their products,” Modi said.

The PM said the 5G testbed, which had been set up at a cost of about ₹220 crore, was an important step towards self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies in the telecom sector.

Amazon’s initiative to turn kirana stores into ‘digital dukaans’

Amazon on 18 May, 2022, launched its Smart Commerce initiative to help them local stores transition to ‘digital dukaans.’

With Smart Commerce, stores will be able to create their own online storefronts to digitise their offline shops, Amazon said, as its Local Shops on Amazon initiative, which allows shop owners to sell to customers in their local area through the platform, completed two years in April.

“We are humbled that in a short period, the programme has already grown to more than 1.5 lakh stores across India. Inspired by this momentum, I’m excited to announce the launch of Smart Commerce,” Amazon’s SVP, India and Emerging Markets, Amit Agarwal, said at the company’s annual virtual summit Amazon Smbhav.

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