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N.N. Banerjee, Chief General Manger, Assam telecom circle, BSNL

August 31, 2011
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N.N. Banerjee views difficult situations as opportunities for growth. Thus, despite insurgency, difficult terrain and bureaucratic handicaps, he enjoys working in Assam as chief general manager of the circle with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

His enthusiasm is evident when he talks about his plans for the company, and the various products and value-added services the company is offering to customers. “We have introduced a host of exciting offers for customers and have many others on the anvil. Some of the innovative plans we have in mind are the ‘bloodline’ offer whereby blood donors and seekers can get in touch with each other via a simple SMS. Also, I want to introduce an arrangement wherein the billing information of a landline phone can be viewed on a mobile; similarly, daily information on broadband billing and usage can be accessed by users on their mobiles,” he says. Banerjee also plans to soon bring in a facility to enable bill payment via ATM cards.

That apart, he is excited about the opportunities thrown up by the launch of new technologies in the state. For example, last year, BSNL launched Wi-Max services in Assam. The high speed wireless broadband connection, which offers speeds of up to 7 Mbps at a distance of 15 km, supports services such as video-conferencing, tele-medicine and tele-education. It also enables payment of utility bills and online vehicle registration, and provides access to land records.

As of June 2011, BSNL had a user base of 1.52 million in Assam. It covers 90 per cent of the state with WLL connections and provides GSM services across the state, including villages with a population of less than 1,000. Its broadband connections are available in all district headquarters and major towns.

While insurgency and terrorism pose a major hurdle to growth in Assam, Banerjee believes there is a lot of potential for development. He feels there is plenty of talent available in the state. And with all the efforts being made to bring in new services, he hopes to see the telecom sector grow further.

Banerjee did his M.Tech. in radiophysics and electronics from Calcutta University. The encouragement of his teachers made him sit for the All India Engineering Services exam. He got top honours, but when he told his father that he was not really keen to spend the rest of his life in a government job, his father was irate. “At the time I was not happy, but now I feel my father was right,” he says.

Banerjee’s family is in Kolkata. Outside of work, he enjoys photography, music, films and reading.

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