Sanjay Bakaya, Regional Vice-President, India, Mavenir

People , December 04, 2018

Sanjay Bakaya is a telecom veteran, having spent close to three decades in the sector. “I have seen the sector evolve since 1990, from the time when people used to queue up for a phone connection to the present day when operators reach out to users for selling subscriptions,” he says.

Bakaya believes that operators’ legacy platforms in both core networks and radio access networks (RAN) need an overhaul to support 4G traffic and be future proof for migration to 5G. With aggressive mobile tariffs, competitiveness on the total cost of ownership has become paramount, and traditional core and RAN solutions based on lock-in with purpose-built OEM are no longer best suited. Further, with the advent of network functions virtualisation (NFV), the use of common off-the-shelf hardware platforms is becoming widespread and software applications are increasingly becoming hardware agnostic.

Mavenir is a hardware-agnostic, end-to-end network software provider, helping operators reduce the cost of network management. Mavenir has a large presence in India, which accounts for almost 50 per cent of its total global employee count of 2,300. As Mavenir’s regional vice-president, India, Bakaya is responsible for driving the company’s growth.

In the past, Bakaya has worked with Motorola and Vanu, spending a decade in each of these. At Motorola, he was instrumental in setting up the first paging network in India in 1995. Later, in 2006, he was involved in securing the first 3G network contract for the company in India. He joined Vanu in 2010 and held the positions of managing director, India, and vice-president, Asia Pacific before joining Mavenir. “Vanu was focused on addressing the needs of the rural market and building networks where none existed due to commercial unviability. This was a great learning experience for me,” he says. He also held the position of secretary general of the Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association during the period 2008-10.

Bakaya has an inclusive style of management. “I believe that empowerment, trust and transparency are key for effective functioning of a team,” he says. Bakaya is an electronics and telecommunications engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. For him, the biggest stress-buster is spending time with family, which includes his parents, his wife and their two daughters, one of whom is pursuing architecture in Chicago and the other is studying in Grade 10.


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