We want to tie up with Reliance Jio, says Huawei India CEO Jay Chen

Topics Huawei | Reliance Jio

Huawei India CEO Jay Chen
Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei, which is awaiting India’s decision on whether it can be part of the 5G ecosystem in the country or not, is betting on a long-term strategy here. Megha Manchanda caught up with Huawei India CEO Jay Chen at the India Mobile Congress to discuss the challenges and the opportunities that the firm faces in this country. Edited excerpts:    

How hopeful are you of getting the licence for conducting 5G trials in India?

We have got the approval from the Department of Telecommunications for 5G demo spectrum, and I believe it’s a good message for us from the Indian government. I believe that Huawei will be welcomed by the Indian industry, government, and customers.

What gives you that confidence?

Our unique value is the leading innovation solution and good services to our customers. We believe that this is what our customers expect from us.

What’s your takeaway from the recent meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

We believe that we should do our job well. We also appreciate that the Chinese government always asks other countries to give Huawei a fair treatment.

While Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are your customers, Reliance Jio is not. Are you not planning to tap them?

We keep engagement with Jio. We want partnership with them. We also believe that we will find an opportunity to partner with them.

So, are you hopeful of forging any partnership with Jio?

If we offer them good services, I believe we can find an opportunity to partner together.

Huawei is known for its 5G technology. But what kind of 4G play does Huawei have in India? Are you looking for an expansion there as well?

Even before 5G happened, we worked with our customers very closely for their 4G network. We have already given our customers the opportunity to deploy 5G technology in their existing 4G networks.

How do you view Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal’s comments at the recent India Economic Summit in support of Huawei?

We have more than 15-year-long partnership with Airtel. We try our best to serve Airtel and they always push us to do better. So, when this time they publicly appreciated us, we were pleasantly surprised. My team and I are now motivated to do good work to serve them better.

What sets Huawei apart from its competitors — Ericsson and Nokia?

In the last decade, all the leading innovations and technology solutions have been introduced in India by Huawei and those are our unique value, besides our service quality.

Yet, the global debate on security issues is coming in the way. Isn’t it?

I don’t understand the geopolitical aspect of it, but what I understand is that we always give our customers commitment by serving them with leading innovations and better services. If we always contribute our unique value to our customer, to industry and to India, I think we always have our chance to grow in this market.

How does the Chinese government perceive the security related issues in connection with Huawei?

The Chinese government always wants the Chinese companies to comply with the local government’s rules and regulations. We also believe in full compliance with the local rules and regulations of the countries we operate in.

In that backdrop, what do you think is the road ahead for Huawei internationally and more specifically in India?

In India, we will continue to focus on our customers’ requirements and would come out with customized solutions to serve them with quality services.

Isn’t it price that makes Huawei Indian industry’s favourite vis-à-vis its competition?

I think the customers appreciate our overall value and not only from the price perspective.

What makes India special for Huawei?

India is a densely populated market and also a developing one. It has the potential to become the world’s second biggest economy. That provides us with a lot of opportunity in India.

Foreign investors have raised concerns over investing in India? Do you feel the investment climate in India is conducive?

India is a very unique market and you need to deeply understand it. After that, you find your way to do business here. You need to be patient and need to have a long-term strategy. This is what I have learnt in my over a decade long stint here.

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