Having been in the industry for 46 years, Umang Das has been closely involved with its evolution since 1986-87, when the telecom sector was revolutionised in the country. Umang’s association with the sector goes back to his days in Crompton Greaves Limited where he served as marketing lead for power and electrical systems during 1970-86, after graduating from the Delhi College of Engineering and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Interestingly, Umang was CEO of Modi Telstra, when the then West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu called the central telecom minister Sukh Ram in New Delhi on the company’s mobile network. He has also served as managing director of the Spice Group.
In 2008, when the government told operators that they could share not only passive infrastructure (towers) but also active elements of a network, Umang was managing director and CEO of SREI Infocomm Services, which offered both active and passive solutions for networks. Later, SREI merged with Tata Teleservices’ tower business to become Viom Networks. As chief mentor at Viom, Umang spearheaded the company’s international ventures and forays into managed services.
In April 2015, ATC acquired Viom Networks to create India’s largest telecom tower infrastructure sharing company, ATC India. At ATC, he leads regulatory affairs and related industry initiatives at present.
Umang is currently the vice chairman of the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA). At TAIPA, Umang says, “My focus is on three main issues – first, facilitating policies conducive to operators migrating from voice-based tower networks to data broadband networks; second, ensuring policy uniformity across the country; and third, bringing in technology-led and renewable energy solutions to reduce pollution.”
He is also a director in a number of companies and is currently chairman of CII’s telecom infrastructure committee within the national broadband committee. He is chairman of the e-governance and digital society, National Committee of ASSOCHAM, and chairman of the CSC Forum. Apart from his industry work, Umang is involved in promoting digital literacy as district director, Rotary International.
Umang’s wife, Ritu, is actively involved in the welfare and education of the girl child. She is associated with several NGOs and charity organisations. His son Varun keeps him stimulated with discussions on artificial intelligence, robotics and the electric vehicles he is working on.