Ajit Gupta: Moving forward, there are still a lot of opportunities to eliminate more boxes. How can we make the workforce’s lives simpler so that they can focus on their core business? Within the network, we see a lot of opportunities. Probably that will keep us busy for the next 10 years – ensuring how we take all of the traffic, make sure it is clean and protected, accelerated, and available instantly in different devices and different formats in different parts of the world.
There is a lot to be done in various areas. We have a long roadmap especially in the emerging markets. There are a lot of problems where the network is still not mature enough and it is not of high quality.
Sramana Mitra: I have not experienced China from a consumer network point of view. Usually when I’m in India, I use a product called Tata Photon. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it.
Ajit Gupta: I’m very familiar with it.
Sramana Mitra: What do you think of it?
Ajit Gupta: Just like when the cellphones started in India, I was pretty impressed that you could get good coverage. But in the last year or two, I’ve not been as impressed as when they first started. They had the usual problem of overloading, oversubscribing, lack of attention, and not upgrading. I am familiar with it. It is not keeping pace at the same level as it should be.
Sramana Mitra: But is it a scalable architecture? The fact that they’re not keeping pace maybe attributed to the fact that they’re not investing enough. Is it architecturally a scalable system?
Ajit Gupta: I think the architecture is not a problem. It’s just about investment. If Ambassador is selling, why worry about an 800 model?
Sramana Mitra: Until Ambassador goes out of business.
Ajit Gupta: Pretty sad, but all good things have a life time.
Sramana Mitra: You said you were passionate about advising entrepreneurs in India. Do you have a preference? Do you do that work only on the networking domain or is it broader than that?
Ajit Gupta: I am agnostic to that. The little bit of advice I can offer is in my industry. I don’t have any idea about mobile or social. From a business perspective, I can have people use me as a founding block. Networking is an area where I’m a little bit more conversant with the landscape, the competitors, and the offerings around. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses are the fuel which propels different world economies. I was actually in Tel Aviv and I’m amazed to see how, in such a small country with 10 million people, they are able to create so much wealth, GDP, and a great standard of living for their own citizens. I wish we could replicate that in India and other parts of the world.