Meet Viasat India: Sathya Narayanaswamy


On June 30, 2016 we proudly opened a new Research & Development Center (R&D) in Chennai, India. The new R&D Center advances our globalization efforts, strengthens our presence in India and enables us to tap into high-quality engineering talent to drive technology innovation. You can learn more about our India office and how this Center will help us connect the world with high-speed broadband internet in the press release.

Now let’s meet the team, starting with vice president and country manager, Sathya Narayanaswamy.

Question: Sathya, what are you doing at Viasat?

Sathya Narayanaswamy: Currently, I am setting up and helping to grow the operations of Viasat India including building an R&D Center in Chennai. As we are a new team, I am like the head coach here. We hire A players and they all come in with incredible skills. My role is to help them develop those skills, figure out how to fit themselves into the global team at Viasat, and help them grow their careers. The end goal is to build a strong engineering center of excellence in India, that helps us drive more innovation at Viasat.

I am not only the head coach, but also the cheerleader for Viasat India. I help build bridges between the global team and the India team, as we are less than 1% of our global Viasat population.

What I love is that my role changes over time, as I refocus on the next step in our journey. When I started my role about a year ago, I spent a lot of time interviewing engineers as the first step was selecting the right team. Now, the team has taken on the bulk of that selection effort. Today, I spend quite a bit of time shaping the Viasat facility in Chennai but in the future, I will be more focused on business development in the region. If Indian government policy allows, a ViaSat-3 satellite could connect millions of Indians to broadband internet. However, this role changes, my coaching role will remain a constant.

Q: What makes you good at your job?

SN: A conventional description would be that I am an expert at building engineering teams and business strategies in Asia. Over the 10+ years, I have built multiple engineering teams, helped establish new technologies, and grown market share in a very competitive technology business, across India and Asia. So that gives me good insight into all the challenges associated with such endeavors. However, the key ingredient in that experience is doing those for American companies, and learning how to bridge the practices between the US and Asia.

A better way of explaining why I am good at what I do is I love coaching people and helping them find their passions. I help them understand their roles and how they make an impact.

Q: Do you have a life motto or favorite quote?

SN: My current favorite is ‘They don’t put your title on your tombstone.’

Q: What do you like about working for an engineering company like Viasat?

SN: We keep taking on new challenges and I get to work with smart people.

Q: What made you decide to work for Viasat?

SN: My first job was working for Viasat’s Comsat Labs group in Germantown. I spent nearly 5 years there, working with incredibly smart people on very innovative projects. So when they reached out to me again, after nearly 15 years and asked me if I wanted to help solve a new challenge, I jumped at the chance.

Q: Where can you be found when you’re not at work?

SN: Hiking in the hills or visiting a historical location.