Reliance Communications expands enterprise and wireless team


While telecom equipment companies like Cisco and Extreme
Networks may be trimming down their workforce towards greater efficiency and a
more centralized administration, telecom operators in India are either going in
for restructuring, reshuffling or expanding their workforce with additional


Reliance Communications
is the latest to have gone in for a decentralization and expansion of their knowledge
base, by appointing two new COOs for Reliance Globalcom and Reliance
Enterprise, besides other managers for its wireless business.  


While Rory Cole has been appointed as president & COO
– Carrier & ISP to head the carrier business at Reliance Globalcom, V.S.
Gopi Gopinath is set to join as president & COO for Reliance Globalcom’s
Global Enterprise Business Unit (GEBU). Both COOs will be members of the Global
Enterprise Management Board, responsible for SBU – Carriers; and will report to
Punit Garg, president & CEO – GEBU.


Rory brings with him an experience of 29 years in sectors
like telecom, management consulting, and digital cable television. Prior to
joining Reliance Communications, Rory worked with Verizon Business in various
important positions like SVP – International Sales (Wholesale and Carrier
Channels), COO – International, and as CFO for EMEA subsidiaries. Besides
Verizon, Rory worked at senior level positions in organizations like Telesystem
International Wireless (UK), Videotron Group of companies, Ernst & Young,
Cox Cable Communication, and Warner Cable.


V S Gopi Gopinath brings with him rich experience of 29
years in sectors like engineering, and telecom. He has served in top level
positions with leading organizations such as AT&T Global Network Services
India, Equant, Global One, Sprint, GTE, Henningson, and Durham &


Speaking about how the new recruits will boost Reliance
enterprise business, Punit Garg, president – Global Enterprise Business, RCOM
said, We continue to attract a cutting edge global talent pool from within and
outside the Reliance Group as an important part of our growth strategy. In the
Carrier business, we booked orders of Rs 300 crorein Q4 FY 2010-11. This is
double the value of contracts signed in Q3 FY 2010-11. RCOM remains the largest
ILD provider. We also expect the India enterprise data market to double in the
next three years with IDC and managed services accounting for 50 percent of the
total data market revenue from around 30 percent at present.”


RCOM also recently hired former Verizon executive Kaushik
Pillalamarri to head its Data & Devices function in a move to further
catalyze its Wirefree India vision. Other significant inclusions to RCOM’s
Wireless managerial pool, include internal company recruit, Peshwa Acharya as
SVP – Brand & Communications, and Deepak Gupta as CFO, Wireless segment.


Last month, Airtel,  India’s number one telecom operator announced its plans for a major
restructuring of its Asia and Africa business, with an aim to merge its mobile,
DTH, fixed line and broadband businesses. This move was widely criticized by
industry experts, who felt that this move would affect all these portfolios,
which were specialized entities in their own right and needed to be dealt with
separately. However, Airtel believed that clubbing its forces would lead to a
more centralized form of operations, which would help cut costs, boost
efficiency and expertise and reduce churn.


Airtel’s move is in contrast to RCOM. Reliance
Communications believes that decentralization, rather than centralization is
key to building on its key assets of enterprise and wireless VAS. By hiring
professionals that specialize in these areas, they will be able to solve their
debt troubles. How this movement pans out for RCOM is yet to be seen, but
recent subscriber numbers released by TRAI in May 2011, showed that RCOM was
leading with wireless subscriber numbers with 2.5 million.


We are glad to evoke keen interests from seasoned
professionals from leading Global and Indian telcos in wanting to further their
careers at Reliance Communications,” said Syed Safawi, president – Wireless
Division, RCOM.


Number 2 Indian telecom major, Vodafone Essar
has also made some structural changes to its workforce in recent times, and
Vodafone’s recent buy-out of Essar’s stake in India, is bound to see more
changes, with definitely more additions to its workforce.


By Beryl M
[email protected]


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