Interview with Juergen Hase, CEO – IoT Business at Reliance Group

This is all going to be possible because of the unwavering commitment from the people behind the IoT technology. So IoT India Magazine took the opportunity to interview one such person, Juergen Hase, CEO, IoT Business at Reliance Group.

Juergen Hase is a telecom industry veteran with over 25 years for experience in developing, implementing and executing new businesses in different global markets. In the IoT arena, he has experience already for more than 10 years.

In July 2016 he joined in as the CEO of IoT business of Anil Ambani lead Reliance Group based in Mumbai to execute the IoT strategy for India. Prior to this, he was director, IoT / M2M at Qatar-based Ooredoo, responsible for implementing the company's IoT business in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, in multiple vertical segments.

Additionally, he has been board member of many global M2M associations such like Global M2M Alliance (GMA), International M2M Council (IMS) and M2M Alliance. He graduated from the Technical University in Germany with a major in Telecommunications.


Here is the excerpt from the interview.


AIM: Tell us something about your journey in the IoT industry.

Juergen: I have been working for over 25 years in the Telecoms Industry to develop, implement and execute new businesses in different global markets. Just to give you flair of my journey: I have worked amongst others for Deutsche Telekom in Germany where I founded and built up the Machine to Machine (m2m) unit which ultimately gave me the chance to enter the IoT Industry at its earliest stage.

After having successfully ramped and scaled up the unit at Deutsche Telekom, I worked for Qatar-based Ooredoo at the group level. I was responsible for implementing the company’s IoT business in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia in multiple vertical segments like automotive, smart cities, healthcare, energy etc.

Finally I joined the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group and I am now heading as a CEO of the newly founded Internet of things business unit at Reliance. So far it has been quite an IoT journey.


AIM: Would you like to share your views on the global IoT Industry?

Juergen: First of all I am deeply convinced that we are just on the brink of the next Industrial Revolution since the combination of infrastructure, broadband and connected devices will by far and large completely change the way businesses, governments, and consumers interact with each other.

Just a look at the numbers from serious research institutes is compelling. The projections range from 30 – 50 billion devices being connected in 2020 compared to 10 billion in 2015 and an investment volume ranging from 4 – 6 trillion USD in the next five years!

Since a key character of every revolution is to challenge and ultimately change the current status quo many governments have implemented “Digitalization Initiatives” in one way or the other. Across the globe most of the political leaders and CEOs are well aware that if they miss out on the IoT bandwagon, their country or company will inevitably suffer its competitiveness including all the negative side effects. In terms of which country is currently leading this revolution one has to be cautious. Of course US companies play an important role but having said that Japanese companies are extremely strong in robotics and German companies in production. Having said that especially China and India are at the moment catching up quickly. For me the endgame is open.


AIM: How do you think IoT is about to bring change in India, in the way people live their live and the way organization will function?

Juergen: If one combines the sheer size of India`s population and the Digital India Program of the Government which has the goal to set up in India an IoT industry worth USD 15 billion by 2020 accounting for 5-6% of the global IoT Industry, the potential is of course enormous.

Nevertheless I expect this change to happen more or less in waves. In the first wave the corporate sector will be the top adopter since IoT solutions are likely to lower operating costs, increase productivity and develop new products and services and thus subsequently improve their profitability. The second wave will be driven by governmental bodies simply because they want to drive down costs and increase productivity. Last but not least the consumers will embrace IoT solutions if they offer significant value for them.

In a nutshell IoT will make the way businesses, administrative bodies and consumers interact way easier, smarter and much more efficient. In comparison to traditional companies, IoT driven enterprises have to establish organisational structures which are much more nimble, transparent and less hierarchical.


AIM: Would you like to share your views about how Reliance Group is utilizing the technology of IoT?

Juergen: Reliance Group is one of the few big companies which has decided to set up a dedicated, standalone IoT business unit. This is a clear sign to the market that there is a strong belief in the huge potential of the IoT market. We are determined to develop a whole IoT ecosystem focused on long term value added relationships with our customers.

Our IoT activities will be targeting different markets, industries, segments and services. In the first phase we will be targeting the B2B market. Within this market we will enable our internal IoT group activities and stakeholders as well as our existing customers. We will offer services along all key levers which are managed connectivity, developer tools, application services as well as additional services such as cyber security just to name a few.

Within our IoT ecosystem consisting of B2B clients, industry segments, offered service layer our trusted partner such as Jasper play a pivotal role for us to grow our customer base on one hand and and to ramp up our new unit on the other hand as quickly as possible.


AIM: How important is data security with IoT growing rapidly?

Juergen: It is actually key for the overall success of IoT for a number of reasons. Firstly a new technology will only be accepted in the long run if it is safe. Secondly data corruption and leakages not only corrupt the technology, but also the reputation of the company associated with it. Thirdly trust is the basis of every business be it enterprise, consumer or government driven. Thus it is of utmost importance that the data security sector is keeping up with the growth rate of the IoT sector because lagging the IoT growth rates ultimately means that security and subsequently trust in IoT solutions will inevitably suffer.


AIM: What are the most significant changes you see in the IoT space?

Juergen: There are many but let me sketch out two significant changes on different levels.

On the societal level with the automation, the use of intelligent robots in combination with artificial intelligence has put many traditional jobs are at huge stake and therefore huge changes on the horizon. Autonomous driving at the end means that you do not need a driver any longer. The same logic applies for intelligent check out systems at the supermarkets, be it RFID driven or a robot replacing the cashier. This trend poses huge transformational challenges not only to the Indian society but to all societies across the globe. Despite these challenges I am very optimistic that India will manage these challenges easier compared to other nations since there is an open, entrepreneurial spirit within the Indian society.

On the business level I see that traditional industry boundaries are being blurred. Classical value chains are being broken with parts being completely replaced by the IoT technology. You might compete with each other in one segment and yet you are forced to cooperate and partner with the same company in other segments to stay ahead. Thus shaping this sort of competition within the company will be key for success.

These two trends I have just sketched out pose a big managerial challenge because the overall setting is becoming way more complex and thus less predictable.


Listen to Juergen Hase at Cypher 2016



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