Chandrahas Panigrahi, Senior Director and Consumer Business Head, Acer

As senior director and head of consumer business at Acer, Chandrahas Panigrahi has his hands full. He is responsible for managing the company’s overall profit and loss (P&L) as well as sales, product management, distribution and marketing across multiple product categories in South Asia. He is also a key part of the leadership team, which decides the overall direction of the company.

Panigrahi has over 16 years of experience in managing profit centres, business units, and distribution and sales functions across leading IT companies. His specialties in­clude managing P&L and budgets, people management, marketing, and developing and executing business strategies. Prior to Acer, he was associated with AMD as director for the consumer and mobility business. He also worked with Hewlett-Packard as country category manager for the mobility business.

Panigrahi is of the view that for the past 20 years, continuous technical transformation and information waves have driven growth in the telecom industry. He, however, feels that an age of saturated telecom penetration is now approaching. Mobility and internet of things will drive the next wave of change in the sector. According to him, “Grow­th in mobile connectivity is far outpacing fixed line connectivity. This makes sense, as most of the growth is occurring in the developing world and amongst poorer populations. For these people, mobiles are cheaper, convenient and more useful even when landline connectivity is an option. The next major trend that will impact the telecom industry is an ex­plosion of connected devi­ces, with billions of new connected devices likely to be added globally by 2020.”

Panigrahi also foresees an increasing role of internet security in the days to come. “As custodians of the networks, carriers play a pivotal role in fighting the new threats that are emerging. Customers will begin to expect, and then demand, more proactive protection from the entire internet value chain, and carriers will be expected to support the­­se expectations with a range of technical and operational in­novations,” he says.

An engineering graduate, Panigrahi also holds a postgraduate diploma in management from the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. He is a strong believer in team work and meticulous planning. “Setting clear goals and equipping the team with the resources to achieve them are key to my success. As a leader you should not only give clear directions but also be willing to receive feedback from your team.”