Launching tomorrow’s telecom brands – Sandeep Saihgal
Sandeep Saihgal is CEO and Co-founder of tchannl, a strategic partner for telecommunication and consumer electronic businesses across Middle East and Africa. Saihgal has previously established and headed various operations in different regions including Middle East and Africa, India and Europe, and also within various market segments including telecommunications, air conditioning, home appliances, consumer electronics and electrical. He was recently Vice President in Huawei’s Device division. He also headed the RIM BlackBerry operations in Middle East, as well as managed the telecommunications business unit of Samsung in Middle East and North Africa.
For Saihgal, every brand that he has been engaged with, has had its challenges and each journey has been a memorable one. From launching the Samsung business in India, to establishing the Samsung mobile footprint in the Middle East, to finding his feet in Europe with Videocon, then making Blackberry the most loved device in the region, and setting up of Huawei operations. “Through the 26 years I have had memorable times with each brand I have been associated with and the excitement has never stopped,” he reflects.
From Saihgal’s point of view, the most challenging part of his role at tchannel, is to analyse and understand the objective, placement, positioning, significance, and segmentation of the brand that tchannel choses to partner with. And after that to match it with the changing IT and telecommunication needs in the market, followed by injection of the brand into the market.
From his college days, Saihgal was attracted to technology and used to repair devices for his friends. In 2004, after working for fourteen years in consumer electronics with brands including Kelvinator, Whirlpool, and Samsung, he felt he was at a cross-road. Even before the era of smartphones had started, thirteen years ago, Saihgal felt that telecommunications and mobile phones was an industry that would change people lives and how business would be conducted. “I wanted to be part of this evolution and joined it before the smartphone era started,” he explains.
Saihgal’s management style rests in developing people who are leaders and managers and team players. For him, giving empowerment to the team with responsibility and accountability has been mainstay. While building his teams, Saihgal’s approach is to find a leader who has the right attitude, rather than finding a leader with the right experience but maybe not a suitable attitude. “I always wanted to be a leader and not a manager who micro manages.”
Looking forward, Saihgal believes a hot technology will be machine to machine connectivity and the ability to manage everything around us from a hand-phone.
Off work, he spends time reading up on new technologies and other global updates, spends time with his family and plays golf. Does he need to destress? Not necessarily, feels Saihgal. “If you enjoy what you do, it automatically copes with stress. I have always enjoyed my work with the travelling it brought, brand building, and channel development.”
Sandeep Saihgal and tchannl are specialists in go to market strategies for tomorrow’s mobile and telecommunication brands.