K.K. Shetty started his career in 1986 as a manufacturing engineer at Kothari Electronics and later moved to Amphenol, where he worked in the company’s sales and marketing division. He then joined AMP in 1994, handling the sales division of the company’s communications, telecom, industrial and consumer verticals. He was also instrumental in setting up the company’s enterprise business. AMP was subsequently taken over by Tyco, where Shetty was responsible for the company’s enterprise sales for the SAARC region. Later, Tyco Electronics was renamed TE Connectivity, where Shetty is currently director, network solutions for India and SAARC.
Shetty observes that the telecom sector started reviving from last year onwards. “After the 2G scam, hardly any investments came into the sector, especially in infrastructure building, fibre installation, etc. This was mainly because people were hesitant to invest. The turnaround came when Reliance Jio started investing a lot of money in infrastructure deployment.”
According to Shetty, several factors are fuelling the demand for data services, including the government’s thrust on digitalisation, the implementation of the Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile trinity, and the BharatNet and Network for Spectrum projects. “The earlier philosophy was ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’. Now we are demanding ‘roti, kapda, makaan and bandwidth’,” he says.
It has been an enjoyable professional journey so far for Shetty. He particularly remembers his stint with Tyco. “The encouragement I received there empowered me. The market was also worth growing and I was passionate about building the business.”
In terms of his management style, Shetty says that he gives his team the flexibility to manage the business and does not get involved in the day-to-day functioning. “A manager is basically someone who offers solutions, but a leader develops people. My focus is on developing a strategy and then selling it to the team, making sure that they buy it, and also helping in course correction,” he says. Shetty believes his passion for building businesses and problem-solving skills as his key strengths. He sometimes gets restless until an idea before him is executed and completed.
His family comprises his wife, his son, who is an engineer, and his daughter, who has completed her master’s in organisational development. The most important member of the family though is Muffin, their golden retriever. “Our whole discussion revolves around her. She is such a great stress reliever,” he says fondly.