Suresh Kumar, Executive Director, Project Operations and Maintenance, RailTel

Suresh Kumar, executive director for project operations and maintenance, RailTel, has had an illustrious career spanning over 36 years. His professional journey began with HCL, in 1986, in electronics manufacturing. Over the years, he has worked with Indian Railways, South Eastern Railway and IRCON International Limited.

Kumar joined RailTel in the year 2002 as one of its founding members. During the past two decades, he has successfully driven roles in optical fibre cable (OFC) laying, transmission network, data centre, ERP system, fibre characterisation and power plant management, among others.

He recalls creating a state-of-the-art OFC-based telecom network as one of the most challenging yet interesting assignments during his stint at RailTel. In his current role, he is overseeing the procurement of electronics, annual maintenance contracts of these electronic products and maintenance of the OFC network, IT infrastructure and data centres. He is also actively involved in sharing his inputs for all major activities in the organisation.

He believes that the present time is very challenging for the telecom sector. “On the one hand, the demand is increasing due to acceleration of the digitalisation process, while on the other, the global shortage of semiconductor chips is acting as a hurdle to its growth process,” he says. At RailTel, his biggest challenge is to navigate the organisation through unanticipated circumstances and keep the network growing and upgrading.

Kumar holds a BTech degree from the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, and a postgraduate diploma in management from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Kumar is a positive person and chooses to see the bright side of things even at the grimmest of time. He prefers to delve deep into every problem or situation and focus on figuring out solutions. “I am a quick and keen learner who believes that knowledge should always be inculcated. I think networking is a key asset in the current scenario and I am constantly working on it,” he says.

He believes that time is of the essence and keeps himself occupied with productive activities such as reading and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the technology space.

Kumar’s family comprises his wife and their two children, a daughter and a son. “My wife is the headmistress at DPS while my daughter has a master’s degree in market research from Northwestern University, USA. My son studies in the 12th standard,” he adds.