BAI’s recently appointed Group Chief Commercial Officer Andrew McGrath, based in London, joined us today.
McGrath is responsible for delivering the global commercial strategy, focusing on enhancing the company’s go-to-market approach across all its markets. Drawing on his extensive experience in both telecommunications and infrastructure, he works at both a global and market level to deepen BAI’s engagement with industry and partners to define solutions and models to help accelerate innovation and sales for its customers.
Andrew joined BAI following eight years at Vodafone where he held the role of senior vice president for Vodafone Carrier Services with responsibilities including global sales and international business development. This follows other executive level roles at Virgin Media, Verizon, and Cable Wireless.
Read this interview for insights into Andrew’s experience and expectations.
What made you most excited to join BAI Communications?
Coming from a mobile network operator (MNO), my initial reaction to BAI was that I found the neutral host proposition compelling. As I engaged further with the company, everything I learned – about the people, strategy, experience, ownership and ambition – made me excited to be part of it. I can’t think of another organisation more perfectly poised for growth and success.
What would you like to achieve first in this role?
Step one is to get to know the people, the business, and our market in more detail. It’s with that knowledge I can then help prioritise and focus effort to accelerate success.
What is the most important development in the telecommunications industry this past year and what opportunities does that present for you and BAI as you step into this new global role?
Massive change is happening, and that brings threat and opportunity. There is colossal investment being made in the industry – MNOs investing in 5G; well-funded new entrants investing in low earth orbit satellite constellations; and governments motivated to ensure whole populations can participate in a digital society. BAI can benefit from change by helping it happen efficiently and faster.
How do you see this role evolving over time?
My aim is to build a strong global team that accelerates BAI’s growth and fulfilment of its commercial ambitions. That doesn’t mean building a vast Group function and pretending that the centre knows best. It’s about harnessing skills and insight from around BAI, and creating an environment where good ideas are amplified to make the biggest impact, often in multiple markets. Over time the team will get stronger, deliver greater value, and provide opportunities for career development.
What inspires you most in the work that you do?
I grew up living in Japan and Australia. In those days international telecommunication was prohibitively expensive. I’ve spent much of my career, along with many others, helping make international aspects of telecommunication much more accessible. Nowadays if anyone pays anything for international telecommunications, they’re paying too much! Most recently, I’ve helped form an industry consortium that is transforming internet access across much of Africa. Such projects inspire me with a sense of purpose – contributing to a better connected world. BAI’s achievements and plans regarding smart communities are similarly inspiring.
Finally, we want to know more about you personally… How do you spend time outside work?
My wife and I live in south west London, not far from Hampton Court Palace. We have two adult children – our daughter is back with us after uni; our son lives in Dorset, on the UK’s south coast. I run (increasingly slowly) at least 3 times a week. In the summer I spend as much time as possible with family and friends near/on the sea. I support AFC Bournemouth (still a chance of promotion after being relegated last year). My favourite gadget is my Kindle.