When K. Guru Gowrappan joined Viasat as president, becoming responsible for the company’s global operations and growth strategy, he brought more than his professional experience as former CEO of Verizon Media Group to the role. He also brought his personal passions, which have helped drive his career path through the years.
One example of this is his work as a board member at Water.org, a global non-profit organization working to bring water and sanitation to the word. A strong environmental advocate, Guru saw an analogy between the impact of the work Viasat does to bring connectivity to customers when and where it’s needed most, with the work he has done at Water.org.
“There are 700 million people in the world who don’t have access to clean and safe water every day,” said Guru. “The impact of bringing people clean water and sanitation goes beyond the direct impacts. It is also felt in diversity and inclusion — women are the ones who had to walk 6 hours a day to get water for their family. With this new access to clean water where they live, we have the data and analytics to show the increase in inclusivity our work has provided — more people are going to school, more people are working, more people are starting businesses.”
Viasat is a company with a similar mission, bringing high-quality, affordable connectivity to customers when and where it’s needed most, fostering digital inclusion by connecting individuals, families, and communities with education, healthcare, and financial opportunities. For Guru, the fit was natural.
“If you think about a lot of the work Viasat does in unconnected or underserved communities, many of these places are in the same locations Water.org works,” said Guru. “These locations don’t have broadband because other companies are single-mindedly focused on existing business models for profitability — but Viasat is different in that we have a purpose-driven mission combined with the bandwidth economics to help bring about digital inclusion in a way that is affordable, profitable, and sustainable. Viasat looked at the problem differently and came up with a solution that worked.”
As he focuses on fostering growth, nurturing Viasat’s values, and continuing to establish the company at the forefront of the connectivity industry, Guru sees tremendous potential to improve and increase Viasat’s impact — for customers, employees, shareholders and society.
“At the end of the day, we’re in the business of creating meaningful connections. There is so much opportunity ahead of us to grow the business and find even better ways to serve our customers.” said Guru. “The road won’t always be smooth, but there are very few markets and companies with the assets, expertise, and talent as ours.”
Add a healthy dose of personal passion, and the possibilities are virtually limitless.