During a professional career spanning over 30 years, Sanjay Bakaya has worked in diverse areas of the telecom industry. He spent the initial 14 years of his career at Motorola, Inc., then moved to Vanu, Inc. before joining Mavenir. He is currently country head, India, and regional vice-president, India and South Asia at Mavenir. From 2008 to 2010, he also held the position of secretary general, Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA).
As country head, Bakaya helps his team make positive contributions to organisational growth while developing trust and goodwill with customers. “I hunt for new customers and help in their growth through our company’s technology, concepts and products. We aspire to cater to all customers – big or small,” he says. Going forward, Bakaya aims to tap opportunities in the infrastructure, 5G, open RAN and cloud-native domains. However, he describes right pricing of 5G spectrum, security concerns around 5G and seamless multicloud-enabled infrastructure as key challenges in the industry.
Bakaya believes that telecom is developing at such a fast rate that telcos are constantly reviewing their business models and assessing their required skills. He feels that enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), the transformation of telcos into “techos”, aggressive fiberisation and satellite backhaul for rural broadband connectivity will drive innovation for telcos in the coming years.
While Bakaya has had many memorable moments during his career, he specifically remembers his first deal as a sales leader. “It was a $100 million contract for swapping and expanding the 2G cellular service network for an operator for two metros. The team hit a roadblock in the first hour itself. However, my technical and customer teams managed to overcome the technical challenge in the last five minutes, and we went live with the migration of all commercial customers to a new network,” Bakaya remembers. He describes his management style as persistent and focused and feels that his primary strength lies in being self-motivated. “I believe in hard work with a never-say-die attitude,” he says.
Bakaya has a BE in electronics and telecommunications from the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. He likes to stay abreast with world news and describes watching television as his main stress-buster. “I also enjoy listening to old, classic songs and reading articles on cutting-edge technology,” he says. His family comprises his wife and two daughters.