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Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!
|Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has finally put to rest the differential pricing debate last month, when they barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services, effectively prohibiting Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero platform by Airtel in their current form. One of the key component of this policy was that no service provider can offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. In an era where Social Media, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) technologies are transforming our lives, this decision is bound to have a significant impact on all of us. It is but natural, that most of us have taken our positions, either in favor or against the ruling. The TRAI ruling supports the idea of “net neutrality” while social media giant Facebook, who was aggressively pushing its Free Basics scheme, which some people say, violated the concept of “net neutrality”. What TRAI said was a consumer could not be charged differently based on whether she was browsing social media site A or B, or on whether she was watching streaming videos or shopping on the Internet. Taking an analogy, if there are two restaurants at the same location from my house, my taxi should not charge me differently if I am going to have my lunch at a self-service kind of budget hotel versus a luxurious 5 star hotel. People who are against the ruling says - by getting internet access for free for selected set of services (supported by ISPs) and paying a “differential price” for a premium set of services, it is an effective marketing tool that would have helped in bringing the next one billion people of India online. For example, people do pay differential pricing for the 2nd class, 1st AC, sleeper class etc. based on different experiences and service levels. We are often able to voice our opinion, use aggressive marketing to push our ideas (aka Facebook’s marketing on Free Basics) but we may not be in total control of how government enacts a policy. We may have noticed that Supreme Court banned registration of diesel SUVs and high-end vehicles with engine capacity of over 2000 cc in Delhi until March 31st. That has challenged Auto OEM’s to come up with change in business strategy for Delhi and outside. I am sure Facebook must be also rethinking on its strategies for India. The Telecom operators must have very well realized the declining popularity of SMS’s due to a host of Over the Top Services (like Viber, Skype, WhatsApp) and I am sure they are adapting themselves to deliver profits in this changed scenario.|
The truth is, government policies are the externalities or “assumed context”, in which we need to operate and deliver our business results. These changes in externalities are both challenge and opportunity for us. These are the opportunities for us to make innovations both in business process and technological front. And if we can provide solutions to our stakeholders on how to deliver business results in spite of those challenges then we get the opportunity to acquire “the best experiences” in our career, which in turn would add that extra shine to our resume. And be assured, these efforts and business results you deliver now would pay off and you would be considered as ‘top-performers’ in your company or profession.
Thanks and Best Wishes,
Soumen De, PMP
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K., PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Sujata Sahu, PMP