Harsh Pagay, president, optical fibre cable (OFC) business, Himachal Futuristic Communications Limited (HFCL) comes with over two decades of experience. At HFCL, he manages the profit and loss of the company’s OF and OFC businesses. The company has also started manufacturing passive network components and accessories through its subsidiary HTL in Chennai, and Pagay is also responsible for the market placement of these products.

He has been associated with HFCL since 2012 and has been instrumental in taking its OFC business from Rs 1 billion to Rs 15 billion. He says, “The journey has been both enriching and challenging, involving team building, venturing into new markets, brand building, capacity expansion, and backward and forward integration.” In the past, he has been associated with companies such as Teracom, Sterlite Technologies and Finolex Cables.

Pagay acknowledges that the OFC business in the country has taken a hit in the past two quarters. “We had a robust order book at the beginning of the year; however, things have slowed down a bit due to various factors affecting the progress of projects we are involved in. HFCL is a leading supplier in most state-led BharatNet projects, which have seen a significant slowdown,” he adds. He is hoping that the situation will improve from the third quarter onwards.

At the macro level, he feels that the Indian telecom sector is going through a transition with operators making significant investments in network upgradation to deliver a seamless experience to customers. “With 5G trials round the corner, the sector will be at the forefront of shaping India’s new-age economy, driven by technological innovations.”

As for his management style, Pagay likes to lead from the front and set an example for his team. He confesses that he sometimes gets very hands-on when meeting tight timelines, thereby not leaving enough space for the team to operate.

Pagay holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication and an MBA in marketing management. He is a fitness enthusiast and loves outdoor activities such as running, swimming, cycling, trekking and kayaking. “I go to the gym as a routine, as it helps in reducing my stress levels.”

His wife holds a master’s degree in mathematics. Currently, a homemaker, she has taught in leading engineering colleges of Madhya Pradesh in the past. They have two children; a son studying at IIT Roorkee and a daughter who is in sixth grade.