Even by Dubai’s cosmopolitan standards, it is not easy to find someone with as diverse a background as Radwan Moussalli. He was born in Damascus, studied in the UK and is now a Canadian national.
Radwan had brief stints working in Kuwait and the US before moving to Dubai. In 1996, Radwan joined Teleglobe Canada and was with the company until 2006 when Indian tech giant Tata Communications acquired the company.
As a result, Radwan became Tata Communication’s employee number 1 in the region. He worked from home for the first year. Since the company did not have a license to operate, working with partners became part of its DNA.
There has been no looking back since then and he has now got so well entrenched that his acquaintance often call him “a museum”, in jest of course. Radwan is now the company’s Senior Vice President looking after Middle East, Central Asia and Africa regions.
From cable to cloud
Here is a measure of Radwan’s longevity in the industry. During his early days, 2 megabits of data would cost $40,000, compared to less than $200 today. Radwan sees this not only as transformative to the core but also a sign of things to come.
“We are the only generation to have seen both Telex and Whatsapp and we are able to digest the changes and be able to transform”. Radwan also remembers the first trans-Atlantic cable system that was built by Teleglobe Canada in the late 80s and the early 90s.
“It was probably the first or second submarine cable system of 5 Gegabits capacity. People in the industry were questioning our CEO about his wisdom behind building cable of such capacity”.
“I have seen the technology evolve and it has been a really interesting and exciting journey,” he says while hosting an Iftar event at the Armani Hotel, which Tata Communications has made into an annual affair.
Radwan’s profile truly complements the organization he represents in the region. Tata Communications is part of the $103 billion Tata Group, and among a lot of other things, owns and operates the largest submarine cable system around the world. Its global subsea and terrestrial network covers 710,000 km.
As many as 1,600 telcos, 70 percent of the world’s mobile network operators, use the network and the company has invested $1.19 billion on the project. Over 24 percent of the world’s internet routes are on Tata Communications’ network.
The nature of business not just keeps Radwan and his team busy with maintenance and upkeep they have to constantly anticipate. “No matter how many cables you build, no matter what’s the capacity of these cables, we are still upgrading the systems every 2 years”, he says.
This is why the company believes in building the infrastructure and moving into value added services, into cloud services, managed security and media services. “The infrastructure is the cable system and that is where majority of our investment has gone,” Radwan adds.