The internet has successfully demonstrated its exceptional capabilities to level the playing field for netizens, for men and women alike, with an upscale of socializing as well as business opportunities. One of the young women who harness the limitless possibilities of the internet and digital economy in an inspiring way is Harsha Thachery, the founder of Masalabox. It was back in 2015 she decided to launch a door-step delivery service that offers meals cooked by home chefs, using WhatsApp messenger. Today, Masalabox is home to 150 home chefs catering to over 10,000 customers through online. Harsha is a reminder of the wonderful possibilities that the internet connectivity can offer.
We have thousands of aspirant Harshas across the length and breadth of India, especially in the rural areas of the country. The government, however, needs support from experts in the industry to establish a robust connectivity infrastructure and help rural India explore the new avenues of opportunities through the internet. It’s impressive the way GX Group, Europe’s market leading Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) company, is contributing towards India exploring the complete advantages of connectivity. Boasting 20 years of background in the connectivity industry, GX is focused on manufacturing and development of FTTH products that fits different markets across the globe, offering highest quality connectivity solutions to network operators, service providers, system integrators, and the end user.
The impressive endeavors of GX in the country, including its close engagements with the union government to establish a robust, reliable connectivity infrastructure, especially across the outskirts of India, and they have been on CIO Insider’s radar for a while now. I recently got to talking with the man at the helm, Paritosh Prajapati, CEO of GX Group, who took me through the latest happenings in the organization and explained his vision for the future. The Young pioneer is a strong advocate of making the internet affordable and a human right.
In conversation with Paritosh Prajapati, CEO, GX Group
GX Group has witnessed the entire technology boom in the networking industry, while contributing significantly to the European markets. How has been the journey so far and how do you leverage this two-decade strong industry experience to command the industry today?
We commenced our journey by deploying products for European market, which today is the highest penetrated market in terms of (FTTH) connections with an average of 40-to-45 percent connected homes. When it comes to Sweden, where we have our HQ, we take pride in the fact that around 70 percent homes are now connected.
Since our engagements with FTTH forums started from an earlyage, we have been able to take a significant part in the network infrastructure boom by contributing towards broadband standardization, by meeting the requirements of the market, and benchmarking easier and cost-effective deployment models. Today, we develop products from the component level and control the entire supply chain in order
to maintain the highest standards of quality and control the product price.
With our long-term vision, along with our focus on creating real value, GX is also working with the Government of India to empower the rural areas through connectivity, along with extending women’s digital empowerment in the village part of rural broadband program.
What are the unique propositions of GX Group that take you beyond the cut-throat competition in the industry?
We are the only European company that has a complete focus on FTTH products. Moreover, we have an R&D setup built locally to ensure seamless support while handling customers locally within India, and also to ascertain constant development that resonates with the country’s progress. To further strengthen the execution of our longterm vision in India, we have made significant investments in setting up our own manufacturing facility in Gurgaon with a target to create a global hub in India for manufacturing of FTTH products.
Without equal access to technology and the internet, girls and women are not able to equally participate in our ever more digital societies
Above all, quality is our forte & remains our focus. It has been our major proposition ever since we started our journey in Europe. We ensure meeting the standards and often take it to new levels by driving and engaging with the international broadband forums, activation events, and seminars.
Briefly tell us about your portfolio of solutions.
We manufacture FTTH products based on GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) and XGSPON technology (10 Gigabit Passive Optical Network). We develop the central equipment called OLT (Optical Line Terminal) as well as the home unit called ONU (Optical Networking Unit), enabling seamless internet connection for homes, offices and other premises.
Our ONU products include some of the most advanced models named Platinum, Titanium and Earth. For instance, Earth 4222 is our most unique AI-based FTTH device supporting 11AC WiFi and 11N WiFi with speeds upto 1200 Mbps. Collaborated with Aprecomm’s AI Engine which is the most advanced technology, it perfectly creates the best FTTH infrastructure and is recommended for more smart usage of your network. On the other hand, Our OLT devices come in two ranges – Saturn & Jupiter supporting both GPON and XGSPON respectively. Additionally, we also have advanced Software application as Element Management System (EMS) – a comprehensive network management system with an intuitive graphical user interface, enabling customer to manage our complete portfolio.
What are the latest R&D efforts and solutions that GX Group is involved with? What is your vision?
The enormous experience from the field has enabled us to constantly foresee new requirements and create & innovate models & functions around them, making technology easier to maintain.
We are introducing Wi-Fi 6 into our models to enable higher speed and latest technology quirks. We are also setting up India´s most advanced Wi-Fi testing environment for delivering best equipment.
Furthermore, we are also endeavoring towards extending women’s digital empowerment in villages as a part of our rural broadband program and creating digital literacy.
Could you tell us about your women’s digital empowerment program?
Due to the lack of access and suppressive tactics by certain governments, the United Nations had declared that ‘online freedom’ is a ‘human right, which must be protected. This was in the form of resolution A/HRC/32/L.20 in 2016.
Without equal access to technology and the internet, girls and women are not able to equally participate in our ever more digital societies. Holding back girls and women in this area affects every aspect of their lives, including their ability to speak out and campaign on issues that affect them. If girls and women are not involved in creating digital tools and online content, it is a sure bet to increase the level of inequalities.
The gender technology gap also negatively impacts countries’ potential for economic growth and development. Empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add $28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025.
We introduced our Technology literacy program in 2020, with a mission to create awareness and improve the reach of connectivity and gender equality. From our research, we have perceived that societies with greater gender equality not only offer better socioeconomic opportunities for women, but also tend to grow faster and more equitably. GX’s digital empowerment program covers visiting rural areas and providing training to local operators on deployment planning to make their operations more affordable and scalable in terms of capacity, securing the investment for long term. We also offer support through introduction to education platforms and by providing required tools enabling them in the digital society.
“With our long-term vision, along with our focus on creating real value, GX is also working with the Government of India to empower the rural areas”
What are the opportunities that you foresee in a post-pandemic scenario? What is the future of GX Group?
The future has never been easy to forecast, and the pandemic situation has made life even more unpredictable. But one thing is clear that technology will play a major roll, where equal right to internet will be more important, as we see Internet access today is a Human right.
We at GX Group continue our focus on R&D and next generation products, along with expansion in Asia with focus on manufacturing & exports from India. We have recently appointed Sanjay Kaul, President of Cisco APAC as a board advisor to support our Asia strategies to expand our footprint further to emerging markets.
We also have a keen focus on creating products that are easy to maintain and longterm sustainable in the environment of India. We, in fact, are currently working on new products based on AI to ensure seamless operations for the operators and ascertain higher availability, which will further help rural areas to manage the networks better. In the coming years, we will witness the Next Wave of Digital India, in the aftermath of lockdown and social distancing. In 2021, we are expect to witness an explosion in both internet adoption rates and frequency of usage, creating the world’s largest digital adaptation.