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He is the architect of India's telecom tariff war

Last updated on: November 11, 2010 13:44 IST

He is the architect of India's telecom tariff war

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Katya B Naidu in Mumbai

Sharp-tongued and aggressive, Anil Sardana might not fit the bill of a trademark Tata executive, who are traditionally soft spoken and affable.

But, he is also considered the architect of India's telecom tariff war, when he started Tata's GSM service with a 1-paisa-per-second offering.

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Image: Anil Sardana.
Photographs: Kind courtesy, prokerala.com
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In addition to forcing other telecom players to follow suit, the move added a whopping 50 million subscribers to his network in about 15 months.

Prior to the GSM launch, the company's CDMA business had around 30 million subscribers.

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On Tuesday, Sardana surprised rivals and subscribers alike as he bundled 3G data plans with voice minutes, making services extremely affordable.

This could be yet another googly aimed at his competitors, most of who claimed that 3G would be priced at a premium.

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The 53-year-old, who loves to bring disruptive innovations to the market, is an electrical engineer with a power sector past.

After graduating from Delhi College of Engineering, Sardana began his career as a trainee with National Thermal Power Corporation.

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Image: Sardana with Vargin Mobile's Richard Branson.

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In 1994, he joined Bombay Suburban Electric Supply and rose to become vice-president and head of corporate business development until he joined Tata Power Company in 2002 to lead its distribution business as CEO and later on as managing director.

At Tata Power, he spearheaded its turnaround and change management of the state-owned power retail distribution business.

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Image: Anil Sardana, MD - TTSL, Kishore Biyani, CEO - Future Group and Mayur Toshniwal, CEO - T24 unveiling mobile.

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Apart from power and telecom, Sardana also supports social causes helping the intellectually disabled and ill-treated animals, as he endorses on his Facebook profile.

He is also one of the few top industry heads to have a Facebook profile with a photograph attached!



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