Dr Badri Gomatam, Chief Technology Officer, Sterlite Technologies

Dr Badri Gomatam, CTO Sterlite Technologies, has been in the telecom industry for over 23 years. A graduate in electronics and communications from BIT, Ranchi, he received his master’s and Ph.D in electrical engineering from the University of Massa­ch­u­setts. He started his career with research in optical communications and later moved to the US semiconductor and optical communications industry. He has led seve­ral successful product launches and standards eff­o­rts in the industry. After spending 25 years in the US, he moved to India in 2011 to set up the Centre of Exce­ll­ence at Sterlite. “It was very exc­iting to set up a developm­ent organisation from the ground-up in India, having had similar experience in the US. It took us two to three years to get it going. In 2015, we ina­ug­u­rated our first R&D centre in Aura­ng­a­bad with Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. It meant a lot to me personally and to the company. Our second centre for Smarter Ne­t­works is coming up in Gurgaon,” he says.

As CTO, Badri’s core function is to oversee technology strategy, including the technology roadmap and portfolio, product and solutions development, intellectual property and customer technical eng­age­me­nt. At Sterlite, he and his colleagues have worked to enable the “smarter networks” conc­ept, which offers its customers end-to-end network solutions.

Badri believes there is huge potential for growth in the Indian optical communication industry, but the focus must be on highly reliable and technologically advanced infrastructure. “Technologies based on fibre optics are the lowest-cost and future-proof alternative to take broadband to the population. Fibre to business, fibre to the home, and fibre to mobile infrastructure are some areas where there is immense grow­th potential,” he says.

Badri encourages his team to spend time in preparing and planning for a project. “Betw­een planning and execution, the former should be given more focus,” he says. His str­e­ngth is his long-term experience across wide-ranging technologies. “I feel fortunate in being able to help my team across multiple disciplines within our focus areas.” Badri tries to improve his lifestyle by balancing work and spending more time with his family, which includes his wife and two school-going boys. He unwinds by reading and is currently reading Siddhartha Mu­kher­jee’s The Gene. He is also fond of gardening and cooking. While he travels often for work, given a chance, he’d love to visit China “to experience its people and culture beyond the big cities”.