Sam Pitroda’s story: “I bypassed telecom system to serve the Bottom of the Pyramid”

Posted on December 8, 2008  /  0 Comments

“I think in many areas today if we don’t bypass some of the generational changes would be very difficult to implement because of the mindset. So C-Dot was setup as a group of young people dedicated to designing through indigenous development of the telecom switching systems and related products with focused on rural communication, digitisation of the telecom network and with a focus on building human capacity for telecom, software, computers all of that.

We had some total of about 500 young engineers with average age of 23. I would say almost all of those people are now very important, in key positions in global ICT revolution everywhere all over the world.

There were some very interesting activities we launched then and those were the seeds we planted. See in those days it was very difficult to understand privatisation, public-private partnership because we were coming out of this socialist mindset. So people were not in tune with privatisation. It took us a long time to convince people to privatise telecom by MTNL, BSNL, bring private people to produce telephone instruments. But telecom was the key to privatisation in India and since we installed rural switching and thousands and thousands of STD PCO’s, people saw the benefit of telecom through our masses and that helped in privatisation. People don’t understand this, ok. Then people saw that telecom is indeed for poor, rural and if it’s going to help through privatisation lets do it.”

Read the full interview here.

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