Vivek Badrinath

CEO OF VANTAGE TOWERS

Greece 2022  I  Telecoms & IT  I  Interview

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_BIOGRAPHY with degrees from Ecole Polytechnique and Télécom ParisTech, he was Chairman for Actimos SA, Chairman of NGMN Ltd., Deputy CEO-Marketing & Information Systems at Accor SA and Chairman for FastBooking SA (subsidiary of Accor SA), CEO & SEVP-Communications Services at Orange SA, Chairman at Viaccess SA and CEO at Orange Business Holdings UK Ltd.

“AS A NEUTRAL 5G SUPERHOST, WE ARE A KEY ENABLER FOR THE 5G ROLL-OUT. MOBILE OPERATORS ARE EXPANDING THEIR NETWORKS TO MANAGE THE INCREASING DATA TRAFFIC AND THEY VALUE THE QUALITY OF OUR GRID.”

THE COMPANY HAS CELEBRATED ITS FIRST YEAR SINCE ITS SUCCESSFUL LISTING IN FRANKFURT STOCK EXCHANGE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS SINCE THEN?

 

Thanks to our great team we have delivered on our commercial strategy and reached our major targets. Among other things, I am very proud of the landmark agreement we signed with 1&1 in Germany. We are delighted to be supporting 1&1 in the rapid roll-out of 5G and to be a key player in the sustainable digital transformation of Europe. The agreement is an important milestone for organic growth in our largest market. Moreover, we signed further new partnership agreements, for example in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ireland, thus significantly enhancing our commercial capabilities across Europe.

 

Overall, we keep pushing innovative solutions for green energy generation - one of the cornerstones of our ESG strategy. In this context, we teamed up with the wind energy start-up MOWEA in January 2022 to generate green energy by installing around 752 micro wind turbines on 52 of our German towers as part of an expanded pilot project. Under average wind conditions, the green electricity generated on site will cover 100% of the energy needs of the respective towers. We reached a first major green milestone in the summer of 2021: since then, all the electricity Vantage Towers needs to operate its infrastructure has been sourced from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or hydropower. This fits well into our overall strategy to drive a sustainable digitalisation in Europe and to support our partners through technological innovation in decarbonization and in achieving their climate goals.

 

VANTAGE TOWERS IS A KEY ENABLER FOR NEXT-GENERATION ROLLOUTS IN EUROPE, CONSIDERED THE 5G SUPERHOST. HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS TRANSFORMATION?

 

As the digital transformation in Europe continues to accelerate, mobile data traffic continues to grow steadily. This development is driven by both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average data volume per subscription fuelled by more video content and higher 5G penetration. Vantage Towers is an integral part of this exciting market development. As a neutral 5G superhost, we are a key enabler for the 5G roll-out. Mobile operators are expanding their networks to manage the increasing data traffic and they value the quality of our grid.

REVENUE IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO OVER €1 BILLION IN 2022. WHAT ARE YOUR KEY OBJECTIVES FOR 2022/23?

 

We have reaffirmed revenue guidance for FY22. Going forward, we will drive growth by leveraging our strong infrastructure network and continuing to commercialize our business. Moreover, we intend to play an active role in tower consolidation across Europe. For FY23 and beyond, we have set ourselves ambitious targets. The positive trend is expected to deliver a mid-single-digit revenue growth in the medium-term.

Vantage Towers plays an important role in providing essential infrastructure which will improve the lives of millions. How important is the social aspect of the business for you and what are the company’s main initiatives in this direction?

 

Our goal is to drive digital transformation in Europe in a sustainable way, which is also anchored in our ESG strategy. Thus, we have embedded an ESG mentality into the foundations of our culture and organisation. People and planet are at the heart of our business strategy, underpinned by a performance culture and robust and balanced governance. We aim for truly sustainable connectivity that delivers social, environmental and economic benefits for all – both within Europe and in the role, Europe plays in a wider, global context. With our holistic approach, we can maximize the positive impact we create with our strong infrastructure to enable a sustainable digital society.

 

We also aim to gain the trust and support of our local communities through openness, honesty and respect for local cultures and traditions. We listen to their concerns and try to answer their questions, for example regarding the expansion of the network infrastructure. Communities can rely on us to ensure that everyone is heard.