Africa Calling! Indian Telecoms Expert On Growing Broadband Internet On The Continent
Bath MBA grad Srinath Logasubramanian: Africa has the highest predicted subscriber growth rate on broadband services
IT and telecoms specialist Srinath Logasubramanian embarked on the University of Bath Management School full-time MBA with the aim of one day providing better quality internet services in Africa.
Srinath has experience in working with both private and government bodies to deliver IT and telecoms solutions within the EMEA region, but he wanted the theoretical business knowledge and qualifications that come with an MBA.
Since he completed his MBA at Bath in November 2011, Srinath has been employed by a leading satellite operator and service provider that sells satellite bandwidth services to telecoms companies.
Srinath, 30, was born in Chennai, India and gained his Bachelors in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from the University of Madras in 2002. He started his career in Sales for an Indian technology services company, WeP Peripherals Ltd, and spent approximately three years there before moving to set up a distribution network for internet service provider Direct On PC based in Nigeria.
It was bold move in unfamiliar surroundings, but Srinath worked his way up to regional business head monitoring the West African Operations of Direct On PC in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Benin and Sierra Leone.
Under his tenure, the company made great progress and he was instrumental in establishing relationships with key government regulatoryagencies and corporate partners.
One of Srinath's not-so-fond memories of life in West Africa was being stuck in the notorious Third Mainland Bridge traffic in Lagos, Nigeria. The bridge connects the two main commercial areas in Lagos. Srinath says that on one occassion, he had set off early to make an 11 am appointment with a customer but only got the end of the Bridge at 5pm and had to turn around because the client's office hours ended at 4pm. He only made it back home at around 1am the next day.
He also recalls the early days of the internet in Nigeria: "You could go into an internet cafe, click open a page, step out, buy a drink, have a chat with someone, and come back to find the page still loading!"
Although Srinath’s career was progressing, he felt he could contribute more to the industry and region. He would never be able to do anything about the Lagos traffic situation but he felt that with his experience and skills, he could bring improve quality of internet services in the region that had become like home to him.
He says, “Doing business in Africa comes with its positives and negatives. The market is slowly and steadily maturing,but there are infrastructural handicaps. There is a clear need and demand for quality internet services and the region has the highest predicted subscriber growth rate on broadband and Direct To Home services. When I explored how best to do this, I landed on the MBA”.
Srinath chose Bath for his MBA experience because of the mix of cultures in the class, which would give him a "Global experience in the most beautiful city of the UK”.
For him, the brand management module was the best one on the course. It explains how you can build a brand and best communicate what it stands for to the right people. Srinath said he would recommend the Bath MBA just for a chance to take that module.
Since graduating from Bath, Srinath has been working as Business Development Manager for a leading UK-based satellite operator and service provider, focusing on the markets of Africa and the Middle East.
His ultimate dream in life is to start a non-profit organization that serves different corners of Africa to bridge the digital divide between Africa and the developed world. He envisions that in ten years or less, African and Middle Eastern countries will have broadband speeds comparable to those in the UK.
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