Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) has appointed Gautam Sharma to head the company's operations in India.
Mr. Sharma joins Inmarsat having most recently held a series of senior international positions with telecommunications equipment and services company Huawei. He becomes managing director for India at Inmarsat; a market with significant strategic importance for the UK-listed company.
Inmarsat has also signed an agreement to partner with Indian state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to distribute its fourth generation, L-band voice and data services within the Indian market. One of the first priorities for Mr. Sharma will be to work closely with BSNL to strengthen their partnership and open a new gateway that will support the anticipated increase in Indian-based end-users of Inmarsat’s services.
As the only Government authorized mobile satellite services in the Indian market, Mr. Sharma believes there is huge potential for Inmarsat and its services—including the recently completed high-speed broadband Global Xpress constellation—to support economic and social development.
In addition to dealing with private sector clients including telecom OEMs and operators across Asia, he also has significant experience of doing business with Government departments and commercial organizations. His previous career experience also includes roles with optical and wireless solutions firm Arasor International Holding as well as Globsyn and Hexacom India Limited (now Airtel). He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Telecom Management, Specialization in Marketing & Telecommunication, Symbiosis from the Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management, Pune, India, as well as a degree in Mechanical Engineering, from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, (BITS, Pilani), Rajasthan, India.
Commenting on this new appointment, Inmarsat’s CEO, Rupert Pearce, said, “According to the World Bank, India is forecast to be the world’s fastest growing economy in 2016. Together with our strategic partner, BSNL, we have the opportunity to address the significant potential demand for reliable, mobile satellite communication services across a broad range of commercial and public sectors. Our selection of Gautam Sharma, a highly experienced Indian telecoms leader, as managing director of our Indian operations is a further sign of our long-term commitment to and the growth potential of the market in India.”
Mr. Sharma acknowledged that Inmarsat firmly believes that satellite communications can play a significant part in helping India’s connectivity, especially as India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has voiced his strategic vision around Digital India, which Inmarsat believes they can implement and satisfy. He also believes government, maritime and aviation connectivity are all sectors where Inmarsat can make progress in the coming months and years.