Tejas Networks recently launched a Rs 450 cr IPO, the first by an Indian telecom equipment maker. Listen to Outliers podcast with it's founder Sanjay Nayak.
At 52, Sanjay Nayak is not among the young, restless and “cool” breed of entrepreneurs in India’s startup ecosystem. But then, his telecom equipment startup, Tejas Networks, is not really a newbie either. Launched in the year 2000, Tejas Networks has been through at least three near-death experiences.
I have been tracking Tejas’ journey for well over a decade. I always thought India lost out on a massive opportunity to create a homegrown telecom equipment behemoth by not supporting Tejas against the likes of Huawei backed by the Chinese government. As I sit down with Nayak for this week’s Outliers, he shares many other battles, and how his team conquered them all to come this far.
The first one near-death experience came during 2009 when Tejas’ biggest customer, Canadian telecom equipment-maker Nortel, filed for bankruptcy.
“Our international revenues at that time were growing at 100% year on year, thanks to Nortel. But once it filed for bankruptcy, it was kind of a slow death for us and our revenues too collapsed with it” — Sanjay Nayak, founder, Tejas Networks