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Indus Towers: Scaling New Heights to Lead the Smart City Revolution

Indus Towers: Scaling New Heights to Lead the Smart City Revolution

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Bimal Dayal, CEOUnion government’s Rs.7,060 crore worth smart city initiative that encourages public-private partnerships (PPP) is all set to become the next big phenomenon in the subcontinent. It’s quite interesting to witness the world’s largest telecom tower companies like Indus Towers perfectly aligning with the vision of putting India first. With an aim to create over 30,000 ‘smart-small-cells’ by 2020, Indus has been actively involved in developing scalable models for smart cities by integrating digital infrastructure with the existing infrastructure including highways, railways, and buildings. Interestingly, it has also been banking on assets like bus shelters, water tanks, metro pillars, foot over-bridges and toll plazas to develop smart solutions for lighting, parking, and water metering.

Indus’ product & service portfolio is designed around three core elements: tower, power and space. The company savors a favorable positioning in 15 circles in India with 123,639 towers across 278,408 tenancies that include an appreciable & remarkable span across outskirts and rural India. This will open new opportunity doorways for the bottom layer in the social & financial pyramid. No wonder, Indus is a prominent player in the smart city initiative.

While being the leading telecom infrastructure provider in the country, Indus, under the aegis of its CEO - Bimal Dayal, is all set to revolutionize the telecom towers’ landscape by adding more aesthetic towers across its network and incorporating versatile concepts such as street light-telecom poles with day & night views. Bimal brings in significant global experience accumulated by heading blue chip international companies across different countries & geographies. Through CEO Insights, he divulges more about Indus’ current and upcoming exciting endeavors.

The technology landscape in the telecom sector is becoming increasingly dynamic. What are your focuses while innovating?
The telecom sector plays a key role in driving economic growth and in improving the quality of life of people by harnessing technology that leads to smart outcomes. While there has been an increasing trend towards consolidation in the sector, there are a plethora of opportunities available for telecom companies to
innovate to improve quality of infrastructure and services.

As India’s largest telecom tower company, Indus Towers continues to be an enabler for the communication revolution in India. In the past few years, we have experienced technological advancements across every function, driving efficiency, performance improvement, and sustainable outcomes.

"Indus Towers today is helping the municipalities create replicable models under the PPP mode which facilitate digital penetration and are sustainable at the same time"

Indus has saved India a spectacular $3 billion in capital expenditure through sharing telecom infrastructure. Indus’ green efforts have not only benefited our customers and business partners in terms of costs, they have also significantly reduced India’s carbon footprint. On the other hand, Indus Towers has been actively involved in developing scalable models for smart cities. Our approach is to enable the integration of the digital infrastructure with the existing infrastructure such as highways, railways and buildings.

Indus Towers today is helping the municipalities create replicable models under the Public Private Partnership (PPP)mode which facilitate digital penetration and are sustainable at the same time. As opposed to the earlier model involving large scale capex upfront, Indus Towers have put in place the ‘here and now’ revenue model thereby removing uncertainty in the successful execution of smart cities thereby paving way for digitally-enabled smart citizen services in future. We have also been using assets like bus shelters, water tanks, metro pillars, foot over-bridges and toll plazas to develop smart solutions for smart lighting, smart parking and smart water metering.

Also, we now provide end-to-end solutions to our customers, right from accepting a requisition for a site to planning, acquisition, deployment, making passive infrastructure RFAI, and providing operation & maintenance services for ongoing activities.

In addition to the ever-growing nature of telecom industry, the most awaited smart city boom is now beginning to form legs. What are your strategies to leverage this huge opportunity?
According to the PPP model, the tower companies can install the infrastructure on street furniture and provide Wi-Fi & smart lighting as well as city surveillance in some cases. We are helping the municipalities to create replicable models under PPP mode, which facilitate sustainable digital penetration. As opposed to the earlier model involving large scale CAPEX upfront, we have on-boarded the 'here-and-now' revenue model.
The employment opportunities are also expected to increase rapidly due to the government’s combined efforts to increase penetration in rural areas, rapid increase in Smartphone sales, and skyrocketing internet usage. The combined outcome of these events will allow us to grow our business in the Indian market.

The industry is poised to become more exciting and even more dynamic with increasing PPPs. What is the future roadmap set for your company?
Our opportunity lies in understanding the importance of powering India’s smart city initiative with the best available technology, which will significantly improve government-services ranging from waste management to water supply, surveillance, e-Education, and healthcare. I believe that, since the government is taking effective initiatives to develop the telecom sector, the industry needs to accept the realities around the country and strive to make it a better place.

We have always been known for standing tall on our values. Our outlook constantly focuses on learning & development, open-door-work ethics, and structured interventions, which have led this ‘10-year old start-up’ to become a game-changing market leader.

We have been playing a crucial role in making mobile telecommunications available to and affordable for the nation. Our goal is to make more mobiles accessible to every Indian. In turn, we are looking forward to leveraging the rural market in terms of m-health services, education and much more. The mission here is to bridge the digital divide and place India on the digital super highway.

Key Management:
Bimal Dayal, CEO
Joined Indus Towers as the Chief Operating Officer in February 2010 and became CEO in 2016, Bimal has a diverse domestic and global experience garnered from conglomerates like Ericsson(as Country Head in Sweden & Sri Lanka) and Qualcomm India & South Asia (as a Country Manager). His stay at Harvard for an Advanced Management Program in 2014 brought a broader perspective about cross cultural geo-political dynamics.

Offices:Gurgaon(Headquarter), Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chennai, Noida, Cochin, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune & Kolkata

Offerings:
Products
• Tower, Power & Space
• Smart Cities
• NextGen Sites

Services
• Next Gen Solution Portfolio
• Tower Operating Centers
• Green Technology