They are heading the some of the biggest telecom companies in the world which have their foothold in the fastest growing Telecom market.
Srinath Narasimhan, CEO of Tata Communications is ranked 8th amongst the most powerful 100 people in Telecom Business globally. Bharti’s Charismatic CEO Sunil Mittal has been ranked at number 18th.
Total of 10 Indians featured among the Power 100 of Global Telecom Business.
Indians among the Global Telecoms Business Power100 for 2009
Srinath Narasimhan (Ranked 8th)
CEO of Tata Communications
As an executive in the technology end of one of India’s leading industrial empires, Narasimhan was given the job in 2002 of taking over the former state-owned VSNL, which once owned a monopoly in the country’s international telecoms connections.
He transformed VSNL into a true international operation, putting Tata’s $29 billion might into taking over networks such as Teleglobe and Tyco Global Networks so that it now has a presence in Europe and North America — just the countries whose high-bandwidth connections into Indian outsourcing operations. With Tata Consultancy Services, a software company, in the group, he has a head start. Now poised for further global investments.
Sunil Bharti Mittal (Ranked 18th)
Chairman and group CEO of Bharti Enterprises
Mittal has spent much of 2009 wrestling with a proposed merger of his Bharti Airtel with South Africa’s MTN, which would create one of the largest mobile operators in the world. The talks have already had several extended deadlines, and they may fail.
Mittal — who has grown one of India’s biggest business groups, owning the biggest GSM operator in the country — will be powerful in the telecoms industry even if the merger is called off. If he does merge with MTN the new company will be a tremendous influence.
Punit Garg (Ranked 21st)
President and CEO of Reliance Globalcom
Under Garg’s leadership, Indian operator Reliance has put together a portfolio of strategic acquisitions of telecoms companies Vanco, eWave World and Yipes and he has overseen their integration in a period of 12-18 months with an earlier acquisition, Flag Telecom.
This has transformed Reliance into a powerful international operator, capable of delivering services to operators and multinational corporations.
Rajeev Suri (Ranked 25th)
CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks from October 2009
Suri was the head of NSN’s services operation and has been chosen to take over from Simon Beresford-Wylie, who has decided to leave after playing a central role in setting up the merged vendor. Suri, who will be moving to Finland from his current base in New Delhi to take up the appointment, has been with Nokia since 1995 after a career in the computer industry.
He has worked in Finland, the UK and Singapore as well as India. He was head of NSN Asia Pacific until he took over when NSN set up its new services division — and his appointment to the top job is perhaps a further indicator of the future for equipment vendors.
Sanjay Jha (Ranked 47th)
Co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of its mobile services division
The future of one of the best known — but most struggling — brands in the mobile industry is in the hands of this former Qualcomm executive. Motorola revived as a mobile brand with the RAZR but then since lost its way. Now it has thrown in its lot with the Android community and has launched its first Smartphone using the Google-backed operating system: time will tell.
Vinod Kumar (Ranked 60th)
President of global data and mobility solutions for Tata Communications
Though Srinath Narasimhan is the CEO, Kumar is the Tata executive that other telecoms operators — Tata’s communications customers — are more likely to meet. He’s recently picked up a wholesale contract to work with BT on termination of its voice calls worldwide. He runs 300 points of presence, enabling the company to offer a global content delivery service on a single global IP network throughout Europe, Asia, North America and India.
Sanjiv Ahuja (Ranked 61st)
Chairman and CEO Augere
Since stepping down from his spell as global CEO of Orange in 2008 Ahuja has become a full-time entrepreneur, largely focussing on emerging markets. His first venture, Augere, aims to provide WiMax services — and he wants to be one of the largest operators in the world.
He has recruited a management team, raised $125 million and acquired spectrum in south Asia and Africa. Augere has launched its service in Pakistan and Bangladesh and is running trials in Uganda.
Rajiv Mehrota (Ranked 67th)
Chairman, CEO and founder of VNL
Perpetual Indian telecoms entrepreneur for 35 years. Founded Shyam Telelink, now part of the Russian-owned Sistema group and operating under Sistema’s MTS brand, and is a director of Sistema.
But his latest venture is VNL, which is called a “zero opex” network, using solar-powered base stations so that operators can build a business case for telephony to remote areas where ARPU is less than $2 a month. Aim: to provide connectivity to the 800 million people in India who are not covered by a phone network.
Pradeep Sindhu (Ranked 74th)
Vice chairman, CTO and co-founder of Juniper
With a background at Xerox’s awe-inspiring Palo Alto Research Center — home of much of today’s IT and telecoms technology — Sindhu founded Juniper in 1996, initially as CEO. One of his enthusiasms is to improve the performance of the internet: back in 2003 he and Juniper founded a project called “the Infranet”, which then became IPSphere Forum and is now part of the TM Forum.
His latest is the Stratus Project, set up this year to deliver the next generation in technology for data centres fabric to improve scale, performance and simplicity.
Jagdeep Singh (Ranked 76th)
President, CEO and co-founder of Infinera
Infinera is not quite the best-kept secret — but it is an enthusiasm for the CTOs of high-performance telecoms operators. Singh helped to set up the company in 2001, at the bottom of the dotcom crash, to build photonic integrated circuits and then to build the switching equipment around them for telecoms operators: every line card can provide 100 gigabits a second of DWDM capacity, and the technology has just been expanded to submarine networks.
It’s his fourth start-up — others are now part of Shiva, Ciena and Qwest, having been acquired for $650 million in total — and Infinera’s market cap is already more than $700 million.