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Shalin Y. Shah, Head, India Operations, UTStarcom India

April 07, 2015
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As the head of operations for UTStarcom India, Shalin Y. Shah is responsible for devising future business strategies and delivering new solutions to customers. His mandate is to explore profitable expansion opportunities in India – whether in manufacturing, or research and development, or partnerships – in order to help advance broadband penetration and services.

Shah says his top priority is to position UTStarcom India as a recognised brand and an important infrastructure player in Wi-Fi, packet optical systems, and the software-defined space. In terms of business opportunities, he sees growth prospects for the company in the broadband space in particular. At present, UTStarcom India has a 35 per cent share in the Indian broadband infrastructure market, and Shah is working towards expanding this base by promoting the company’s fixed line and wireless offerings. It is keen on establishing partnerships with the government for initiatives like the National Optical Fibre Network project and the setting up of smart cities.

Shah began his career as a banker in London and subsequently moved to the US to work in the private equity space. He has been associated with Barclays and Shah Capital. His association with UTStarcom began in 2011 as an adviser to the company, as a result of which he became closely involved with the Indian telecom sector. He joined UTStarcom India in 2014. “What really got me excited about joining UTStarcom India was the huge growth potential that the Indian telecom industry promised,” he says. “The company was looking to regain its dominant position in the infrastructure space at a time when the industry was just emerging from a very difficult period and the country was embarking on a new, ambitious growth path. UTStarcom has been doing business in India for 15 years now, so we know our customers’ needs and requirements. That puts us in a position to excel.”

As a manager, Shah sees himself more as an architect who looks at the overall picture to come up with the right business strategy and subsequently guide his team towards executing the plan. He says, “I also believe in adapting to changing situations. So when the need arises, I am happy to get into detailed technical discussions or commercial negotiations with customers. In this evolving world, every situation is different and one must make real-time decisions to arrive at the best way to address issues.”

When work is not on his mind, Shah enjoys exercising to stay fit. He also enjoys spending time with his family.

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