01 May 2020
Global wireless communications executive Igor Leprince has today joined BAI Communications as its Group Chief Executive Officer.
Igor is an experienced and highly respected leader with more than two decades of global experience designing, building, and operating wireless communications infrastructure. He also offers BAI considerable experience in growing and running large-scale global telecommunications businesses.
Igor has a proven record of partnering with customers and planning the next generation of public infrastructure. He is also known for investing in the long-term success of his team and customers.
In this two-part interview, Igor shares his views about BAI Communications and the telecommunications industry in which we operate, as well as a few insights into his personal life.
What are you most excited about as you take the helm of BAI Communications?
What really excites me about leading BAI is the opportunity to drive the company to its next stage of growth and development. There is a great base to build on: from the broadcast business in Australia to the transit communication business in New York, Toronto, and Hong Kong. I am excited about our opportunities in the UK. The company has built an excellent reputation for operational excellence. Majority owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), BAI is ready and well positioned to leverage the vast opportunities in the markets in which we operate.
The world has felt the impact of COVID-19 deeply. What is your feeling about how this will change us as people and BAI as an organisation?
Many countries in the world, including some of our BAI locations have been hit very hard. However, looking beyond the terrible personal impact, I think this crisis has made people realise the importance of and reliance on telecommunication networks and we will see the benefit to our industry in the mid- to long-term. We must also be conscious that we are privileged to be part of an industry that has been less impacted than many others by the crisis.
The arrival of 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic have re-ignited my passion for the telecommunications industry, in which I have worked for the last 25 years, by reinforcing the positive impact and potential that this industry has on society. Putting aside some of the absurd theories floating around or the pointless attacks on telecommunications masts we have seen in some countries, I think there has been clear recognition of the significance of communications infrastructure over the past few months. I believe this will only get stronger.
What are the emerging technology trends shaping the telecommunications industry?
Obviously 5G; however, not 5G as a technology, rather, as a means to drive industry 4.0 and the many applications that will drive its effectiveness for businesses and public services. We are also at a time when artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data analytics are reaching maturity. We can do so much more with real-time applications harnessing the capabilities of 5G in terms of speed and latency, combined with the computing power of AI and analytics. BAI processes a huge amount of powerful anonymised data as part of our transit business. I want to ensure that we can assist our customers in harnessing the analytics to improve their business processes and customer service.
What change would you like to see in the telecommunications industry?
This is a difficult question but, overall and in the context of 5G, I would like the telecommunications industry to be the one not only developing and deploying the technology but also harnessing its benefits. In the past, it is clear that a significant portion of the benefits and value has been created and then moved largely outside the pure telecommunications industry. I think with the growth of 5G there is a unique opportunity for telecommunications companies to play a critical role in developing and driving the applications and benefits for consumers and, even more so, solutions and services for industries and public services, not just restricting themselves to being a provider of connectivity.
What is most important for you to achieve in your new job by the end of the year?
My focus is to have a clear strategy for growth in place and under execution, attract additional talent to complement the current team and drive this strategy forward. I also want to make sure that we win the additional business important for our growth and invest in the right area in line with this strategy. Sounds like a simple recipe for success: right strategy, right execution, right people and, importantly, at the right time. For 5G, neutral host, and transport, the time is now.
“A simple recipe for success: right strategy, right execution, right people and, importantly, at the right time. For 5G, neutral host, and transport, the time is now.”
Group CEO BAI Communications Igor Leprince
Finally, a little about you…What do you do in your free time?
I have a large family, a lovely wife and four children, so I like to spend the majority of my free time with them. Otherwise, I am a keen tennis player, go to the gym, love water sports (wakeboarding, wake surfing) and I am passionate about food and wine (in which I invest as well as drink).