Rahul Saxena

Co-founder of Vodafone Italia, ex-MD in software in India

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Rahul is a senior executive and advisor who has developed and operated global, multi-billion dollar businesses in the telecommunications and technology sectors. He has extensive experience in business development, operations, technology and governance issues in different geographies and cultures.

He directed several start-ups, co-founded one of the largest mobile companies in Europe, Omnitel/Vodafone Italia, and was Managing Director of a large software organization in India. Rahul has been both a strategic and hands-on director on numerous joint venture boards where he brings his operational and governance experience to direct the business and manage stakeholders.

His firm, RNS Global llc, advises startups and global businesses in areas of business development, operations, regulation and governance. He has also been a guest lecturer at international universities, including Bocconi (on international JVs), for business executives and students of economics/ business. Rahul is an advisor and board director for two NYC based social enterprises focused on vision/health care globally and education.

In a succession of diverse roles, Rahul has distinguished himself by resolving operational issues and turning around businesses in complex global environments. Verizon assigned him to Omnitel/Vodafone-Italy during its business development and start-up phases, where he developed the network funding plan, raised $2B+, accelerated the pace of commercial launch of operations by streamlining business processes and devised a cost-effective, award-winning customer service. Rahul was appointed Managing Director of Verizon’s Indian software subsidiary when it faced issues of low credibility in the US, compliance, quality and low employee morale. In less than a year, he stabilized the operations and grew it by 55% over four years (to ~7,000 employees) while achieving the highest levels of employee satisfaction globally in Verizon and an international quality certification, CMMI Level 5.

Prior to Verizon, his professional experience included working at AT&T and PA Consulting Group, the leading UK management consulting firm. Rahul’s wide range of business development, operational and governance experience allows him to achieve a balance between competing needs of shareholders and the operating entities. He headed Verizon’s portfolio of five European JVs valued at over $12B. He has served as board director, chairman and lead director on several key committees: strategic investments, finance, technology, and compensation. At the maturity of Verizon’s investments, Rahul led negotiations and accomplished profitable exits.

Also, Rahul is active in social entrepreneurship space. Presently, he is a board director at VisionSpring, New York, a globally recognized (including at Davos) sustainable enterprise that provides vision care and eye glasses to visually impaired and economically challenged people globally. Until recently, he was also a board director for Women’s Education Project, NYC. Rahul has a Ph.D and M.Phil in Economics from Columbia University, and an MA and BA (Honors) from St Stephens College, Delhi Univ., India. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Italian.
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