Sunday, November 27, 2011
Mumbai is known moreso for its financial institutions rather than its Technology organizations. However, there was one particular tech company that I was very interested in meeting and had offices located in Mumbai. They are Sterlite Technologies. Sterlite Technologies is an manufacturer of fiber technology in India. The company is only about 15 years old and they abide by a mission mantra that they want to connect every home in the world at the lowest possible cost.
Sterlite Technologies www.sterlitetechnologies.com
I met with Vijay Jain, the CTO of Sterlite, and Mandeep Bhatia, the COO. I found Mr. Jain very interesting. He used to work for Verizon in the States for sometime specifically in the deployment of the FIOS technology that Verizon has been building all around the US for the past 4 years. He knows all about what Verizon is doing or has done in Philadelphia and was hired by Sterlite to lead a somewhat “FIOS” like initiative for Sterlite in the India.
I was very eager to meet with Sterlite. I had heard from various companies and organizations that they were interested in getting into the US marketplace with their fiber to the home technologies. Although it took some time to get the meeting, I finally was able to pitch my request in a way that led me to meet with the CTO and COO of the company. Not bad brig!
Overall the meeting went well. We spoke about what Wilco was undergoing in Philadelphia, the infrastructure needs, the Freedom Rings partnership that we were a big partner in putting together, and the overall landscape of network infrastructures in India.
One thing that I understood after that meeting was that, Wilco is right on the mark with what we had designed and built as a middle mile network for the City, PHA, and other community anchor institutions in Philadelphia. This is exactly what Sterlite was doing in India, a middle mile network that serves many providers but connects “not to the classes, but the masses”.
The meeting ended with real action items on how to engage our companies in mutually beneficial outcomes for the acquisition and implementation of the fiber for infrastructure purposes. Apparently the President and CEO of Sterlite is a Wharton grad and knows the Philadelphia area. They would like to be in the pool of providers who can offer fiber and other networking services for infrastructure in Philadelphia. Getting into the US is a primary focus for them. Liked that they are interested. Will definitely continue conversations with them to see what can be done to start a relationship, join venture, co-investment strategy for broadband infrastructure for underserved communities.
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