Rakesh Kumar Bhatnagar, Director General, TEPC

Rakesh Kumar Bhatnagar has had a long association with the telecom sector, having spe­nt over 40 years in the in­dus­­try in diverse areas and fun­c­tions such as technical, regulatory, finance, training, rese­ar­­ch and development, standardisation and planning.

As an ITS Group A official, he was part of DoT from 1976 to 2013, his last position being adviser, technology. He has also been associated with TRAI and has spent several years in various countries as an international expert on telecom. He has served as chairman, the International Tele­commu­­nication Union’s (ITU) project group on interconnection and worked for a few years as technical adviser to Oman’s Telecommu­nica­tions Regula­tory Authority. In his current role as director general of Telecom Equip­ment & Servi­ces Export Pro­motion Council (TEPC), Bhatnagar provides support to the export initiatives of the telecom industry. “During the past few years, Indian telecom equipment exports have declined. The existing duty structures and limited incentives for manufacturers are the key challenges. In the past few months, we have developed projects in several Afri­can and ASEAN countries. Based on these projects, the government, in Septem­ber 2016, announced a credit line of $1 billion for ASEAN coun­tries,” he says.

To choose a single mem­orable assignment from an illustrious career spanning four decades is obviously not easy, and so, Bhat­nagar shares a few of them: his involvement in the conceptualisation of an internet exchange 17 years back while he was at the ITU; designing of the national number plans of Mongolia, Ban­g­l­a­desh and Fiji; and the development of computer-aided net­­­work planning software at Beijing University of Posts and Telecom, which was later distributed as ITU’s network plan­ning software to 23 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. “I was also involved in the finalisation of the preferential market access policy in India and the development of India EMF standards in 2012-13,” he adds.

Bhatanagar is an electrical engineer from the Delhi Col­l­e­­ge of Engineering. He likes watching cricket, news and Hindi serials on TV for relaxation, and enjoys catching a movie on weekends. His family comprises his wife Mamta and their two children. “My wife has always provided excellent background support. When I was on assignments at different locations around the world, she was providing the right kind of support to our son and daughter.”s