The importance of AVIXA’s CTS programs in the installed AV world is now well established. AVIXA’s Certified Technology Specialist™ (CTS) certifications—CTS General, CTS-D (Design), and CTS-I (Installation)—are ANSI-accredited under the International Organization of Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Indeed, AVIXA has administered the CTS program for 30 years, and it’s recognized worldwide as the leading AV professional credential. This is as true in India as it is in the Euro zone and the U.S. Indeed, in India many AV design consultants—and other professional contractors who engage AV professionals in the Indian market—now either require that the systems integrators bidding on their jobs employ AV professionals who hold the CTS credential or give preference to companies with CTS holders.
"In the Indian AV market, an important trend is now emerging: women pursuing the CTS credential, as the benefits of the program become clear in the marketplace."
Drilling down further in the Indian AV market, another important trend is now emerging: the growing trend of women pursuing the CTS credential, as the benefits of the program become clear in the marketplace. Some of the top AV companies in India now recognize that the benefits that CTS certification offers them—the ability to sell their company’s work more effectively to clients, and evidence of technical proficiency and professionalism to AV Design Consultants and to customers, increasing value—can be doubled if their top women team members also pursue CTS. The good news is that women are taking up the challenge and succeeding at the highest levels.
There is no better way to tell the story of the importance of AVIXA certification in India, and how that dovetails with the role of women professionals in the AV industry, than hearing from India’s first woman CTS, Kirti Shetti, Director - Operations at Kramer Electronics India Pvt Ltd.
There is no better way to tell the story of the importance of AVIXA certification in India, and how that dovetails with the role of women professionals in the AV industry, than hearing from India’s first woman CTS, Kirti Shetti, Director -Operations at Kramer Electronics India Pvt Ltd.
Keene: Everyone in the AV industry is familiar with Kramer. The company has been such a strong presence in AV markets worldwide—for connecting, so to speak, all our wonderful AV systems together: networking gear, switchers, AV/IP, and so much more. What drew you to Kramer?
Kirti: I have been working with Kramer Electronics India since April 2007. It was apparent that innovation, customer service, and reliability are key factors that drive Kramer Electronics—and that inspired me to work with them.
Keene: Your official title at Kramer is Director—Operations, Kramer Electronics India. What are your responsibilities at Kramer?
Kirti: My key responsibilities include marketing and operations management. Our key focus verticals are enterprise, government and defense, and education. Each vertical has projects that are small to large scale. It’s been a busy and prosperous time: the government vertical with some large monument and convention centre projects; the enterprise sector with companies increasing their base to include new locations and expanding their presence in existing locations. The education vertical has seen government investment in many universities with grants for digitisation.
Keene: How does CTS fit into the market in India? From your perspective, do you see that many AV design consultants—and other professional contractors who engage AV professionals—require that the systems integrators bidding on their jobs employ AV professionals who hold the CTS credential? Do others give preference to AV companies that employ CTS-certified technicians?
Kirti: CTS certification from AVIXA is one of the most recognised and credible industry certifications. In India, the number of CTS holders is increasing each year and in the coming years, AV projects in India may have a criterion of minimum CTS holders working/to be deployed for the project.
Many companies are already taking up the advanced certifications like CTS-D and CTS-I certifications—so the count of these advanced certified professionals has also increased. We at Kramer encourage our teams to take up CTS including the advanced level certifications. Apart from this, we have been supporting the education courses of AVIXA through sponsorship. As an industry, we need benchmarks of knowledge levels for professionals and the AVIXA certifications help to define the benchmarks.
Keene: The AV world is going to the IT world in so many ways—whether to AV/IP, or the fact that IT pros inside the customers' companies, and at the providers' companies, are centered so much more around IT now. How does CTS, and AV standards as well, fit into today’s world that now includes IT certification and standards also?
Kirti: Video technologies, audio technologies, acoustics—they form basics of any AV solution. AV over IT still depends on these AV technologies implemented through IP technologies and IT mediums. So, the AV is as much relevant as the knowledge of IT. AVIXA certifications give you a lot of in depth understanding of many areas of AV, and the recently introduced courses also help the AV industry fraternity gain knowledge of the IT domain as well.
"More women are in technical and sales profiles, and certifications like CTS, CTS-D, or CTS-I will not only bring them on to the same platform as industry peers—the benefit will accrue to their companies as well.""
Keene: You were one of the first CTS women in India—if not the first. Congratulations! In addition to the benefits of CTS for anyone, why did you specifically want to get CTS certified?
Kirti: I got my CTS certification in January 2011. I always believe in keeping updated on new technologies, new processes, and industry standards. CTS is recognised as the industry benchmark for certification and hence I took up the challenge. Without being gender biased, CTS certification is good for everyone who is working in the technology and solution space. Today, more women are in technical and sales profiles in the industry and certifications like CTS, CTS-D, and CTS-I will not only bring them on to the same platform as industry peers who have completed these certifications, but the benefit will accrue immensely to their companies as well. It’s a win-win for the whole team.
New best practices have emerged among the best AV integration companies in India that need to position themselves for growth and improved profitability in a changing AV and IT landscape. Key to those best practices is membership in AVIXA, the leading association in India—and internationally—and that includes access to career- and company-building tools that help you leverage certifications, standards, business intelligence, and more, to give you the competitive edge you need to succeed in a rapidly changing market. Increasingly, professional women are leveraging CTS certification along with myriad AVIXA benefits that help them, and their companies succeed in a fast-paced and evolving AV market.
For more information on AVIXA member benefits, visit avixa.org/membership.