Pravin S. Bhandarkar, Founder and CEO, RtBrick

Pravin S. Bhandarkar has over two decades of experience in the networking industry. Prior to co-founding RtBrick with Hannes Gredler in October 2015, he worked with networking majors like Cisco and Juniper Networks in various roles. “While working for one of the established router vendors, I was asked by a client, one of the largest cloud-native web companies, why we couldn’t develop a new networking feature in less than 12 months, when they could deploy new services within days. The question left an impact on me and I realised that we could apply the same ‘cloud-native’ approach to telecom networks, and that’s how the idea of RtBrick was conceived.” His experience with two NASDAQ listed start-ups, Tellium and Infinera, also helped him hone his skills and gave him the confidence to take the start-up plunge.

RtBrick is a Bengaluru- and New Jersey-based cloud infrastructure networking start-up that offers software solutions to network operators to turn their hardware into carrier-scale IP routers for enhanced user experience. As the founder and CEO of RtBrick, Bhandarkar focuses on functions such as engineering deliverables, financial control and hiring.

He believes that the telecom industry is witnessing a strong shift towards “disaggregated” networks. He says, “Instead of deploying traditional monolithic systems with a different platform for each service, telcos are using standard off-the-shelf hardware, and running software on it from companies like RtBrick. It significantly brings down costs and allows them to deploy new services much faster.” Telcos are also becoming more like cloud-native companies and are adopting Web 2.0 management and operational tools, automating everything and demanding complete openness from their suppliers.

Bhandarkar is an electronics and telecommunications engineer from Pune University and holds an MS degree in computer engineering from Rutgers, NJ State University, USA. He also has a management degree from IIM Ahmedabad.

He is fond of reading and is a fitness enthusiast. “From my early days in RtBrick, I have maintained a regular schedule of either workouts or outdoor activities to keep a balance between the mind and the body.”

He loves spending time with his family – his wife, a medical professional, and their two schoolgoing sons. “When we have time, we like to travel, and explore new places and cultures.” His mother, a retired medical professional, shuttles between cities to spend time with them.