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At the height of the IT boom in Bangalore, Sridhar designed an innovative idea to hire people. They held a walk-in at a local pub that looked like it might turn out to be a disaster. But by the end of the evening the event was a runaway success. The following day Times of India carried it as a front-page story with a picture of Sridhar surrounded by 12 bottles of beer. The event became a case study at IIM, Bangalore.

Sridhar is very fond of South Indian kapi or coffee and does not let an opportunity slip by to have a nice, strong cup of kapi. He says the best place to have kapi, besides Bangalore, are in the tube stations in London.


Sridhar's Favorites:

Tech gadget : Nokia 9300

Food: South Indian food

Beverage: South Indian kapi


Business & Tech

Sridhar Pai On The Indian Telecom Boom: Part 1


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We bring you a two-part series on the Indian Telecom boom with Sridhar Tonse Pai. Sridhar is the founder/CEO, Tonse Telecom, a research analysis and consulting company based in Bangalore.

In Part-I of our conversation Sridhar gives a snap-shot of the Indian telecom industry. He paints a broad picture of the trends and the growth of this great Indian telecom boom. He also clarifies the terms and definitions used in describing the Indian telecom boom. For instance, what is the definition of broadband in India? Who is defined as an Internet user? How does the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) collect its data?


Sridhar points out that 10 years ago there were four phones for every 1.000 people in India. Today, that number is 12.73 phones for every 100 people. A couple of primary drivers fueling this boom in Indian telecom is the introduction of cellular phones and the new fiber optic connectivity that has been laid in various parts of the country.

Plain Old Telephones (POT) grew by 3 million in the last 5 years, while the growth in cell phones has exploded for the same period. According to Sridhar every month since January 2006 there have been 4.5 million new cell phone subscribers added. Currently there are about 90 million cell phone subscribers in India, which is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Sridhar discusses the disparity between the growth in POT and cell phones.

In spite of this rapid growth, the teledensity in India is low because of the lack of phone lines in rural India. In contrast, the metro cities have a penetration of 40%.

Sridhar also discusses how people in India are accessing broadband, and what is the number of total Internet users in India. Broadband in India is defined as connectivity at 256 kbps.

Sridhar has a BS (Telecom) from University of Mysore and has an MBA from University of Oklahoma. He has spent the last 13 years working in various Telecom companies including IntelliNet Technologies, Xybridge Technologies Inc (later acquired by Zhone Technologies), and others. He started Tonse Telecom in September 2005.

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