Deepak Saxena’s association with the telecom sector goes back to 1993 when he started his career as ITS with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). After serving in DoT for close to 13 years, he joined Idea Cellular in 2008. He is currently associate vice-president with the company and leads the planning, project and operations functions in the optic fibre cable (OFC) vertical for long distance communications. He is also responsible for commercial deals with third parties, selling and buying from them, signing agreements, commercial negotiations and technology selection in various part of the OFC network.
Commenting on the sector, Saxena says, “The telecom industry is witnessing a massive demand for capacity, as digitisation is happening at all touch points in the daily life of each individual and covering all major geographies. Also, networks are now becoming more convergent owing to a higher volume of packet traffic and the optical network is taking a major technological leap. Keeping a balance between vertical and horizontal growth to build an agile and service-agnostic network is challenging as it requires monitoring of the entire network.”
Saxena also feels that the regulatory environment for the roll-out of OFC networks remains hazy. “Although the government has taken good initiatives and floated new guidelines to ease the process of obtaining right of way for laying OFC, there is still a long way to go to see its impact on the ground,” he says.
Saxena’s long association with Idea has helped him accumulate a rich experience in the telecom transport domain. One of his most memorable assignments with the company has been a project for establishing 100 G DWDM networks, which was the first in India, and also early adoption of OTN technology.
Saxena is an engineer by profession and has a management degree in marketing. He is a team player and believes in investing in people and allocating work based on the ability of each team member. He believes in keeping himself occupied and has a fair number of hobbies. “I never have spare time,” he says. When indoors, he likes to sketch, play games and read books. “I read a lot of philosophical books and know how to implement those theories to get work done faster and create a friendly atmosphere at the workplace.” He also enjoys cooking. “Saturday’s breakfast is generally on me,” he says. His family comprises his wife, his son, who has just completed school, and his daughter, who is in Class 11.