The Power Of I 2018

Data Backbone

IP-driven optical and data networking products have enabled this Indian company to make its mark in 70 countries around the world

Photographs by RA Chandroo

While India’s strength as a software service provider has been well-established, there were not many success stories on the product side. That changed in 2000 with the launch of Tejas Networks, which not just succeeded in the domestic market, but also bagged large orders internationally. Based out of Bengaluru, it makes fibre optic cables used by telecom companies to transmit voice, data and video signals. Till date, the company has installed close to 400,000 systems across 70 countries, and enjoys 95% repeat business. Leveraging the cost advantage in India, adopting a software-focused approach and constantly investing in R&D enabled Tejas Networks to scale rapidly as well as sail through turbulent times. As technology trends change, the opportunities could only get bigger for Tejas, which has become a force to reckon with, globally.

"Technology is like a treadmill. If you don’t keep running, you fall off,” says Sanjay Nayak, CEO, Tejas Networks, as he walks us through rows of optical fibre products built by the company over the past 18 years. Each product houses a cluster of yellow cables and these fibre-optic cables enable telecom companies to transmit voice, data and video signals from fixed line, mobile and broadband networks using entirely optical (light-based) technology. And today, any internet data or phone call made in India will most likely pass through the network backbone created by the Bengaluru-based Tejas Networks. 

Sounds far-fetched? Not really, when you take a look at the company’s track record. The company was founded in 2000 by Nayak, then MD of Synapsys India, his colleague Arnob Roy and IISc professor Kumar N Sivarajan. From counting major telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Jio as its clients to being honoured as the best performing equipment partner by the Government of India for BharatNet Phase 1, and from having strong OEM partnerships in the US to building pan-Africa fibre backbone for South Africa-based Internet Solutions, the company has added several feathers to its cap. Aided by execution of large orders, the company posted a 120% growth in net profit to Rs.450 million for Q1FY19 while revenue rose by 15% to Rs.2.32 billion.

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