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Vikas Saxena, Chief Executive Officer, Nimbuzz Group

July 02, 2015
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Vikas Saxena, chief executive officer of Nimbuzz, has more than a decade of experience in the telecom sector. He has held a variety of leadership positions at companies like Deutsche Telekom, Bharti Airtel, Aircel and the Naspers Group across Europe, India and the US. He has been in his current role since mid-2011, and his responsibilities include looking after the company’s overall business strategy and overseeing its global operations. In October 2014, Nimbuzz had sold a 70 per cent stake to UK-based telecom company New Call Telecom for about $175 million.

Saxena had joined German Telecom Company Deutsche Telekom right after graduating as an electrical engineer from IIT Delhi. He worked at its innovation centre in Berlin before returning to India and setting up Nimbuzz, spearheading its business in the country for seven years. Subsequently, he joined Aircel for a brief period in 2010 as founding general manager to set up 3G networks for the operator. He has also been a keen angel investor in the mobile and internet startup space.

Talking about the evolving nature of the telecom industry, Saxena says he believes that applications will continue to drive internet consumption in the near future. According to him, any company, technology or application that can disrupt the telecom market will play an important role in the future. He points out Wi-Fi is one such technology. He says that the large amount of data being consumed through Wi-Fi networks at present makes it counterintuitive to use 3G data packs. He further contends that SMS and voice are not telecom services any more but are internet services and operators will have to provide innovative offerings going forward.

“One of the biggest challenges for me is seeing how we can develop products that make our customers happy,” says Saxena. He also cites the several issues that he encounters while working with the Android operating system as it is open source. This provides a big opportunity as well as a challenge, he says. “We have to go the extra mile with Android to make sure that our service provides a similar experience on high-end as well as low-end phones.”

Saxena considers establishing Nimbuzz in India his most memorable assignment so far. “You rarely establish companies like these,” he says. He feels his biggest strength is to identify future trends and make products based on them.

Saxena’s family comprises his wife and two daughters. In his spare time, he likes reading books and travelling.

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