Gautam Saxena
Board Advisor, Axiata Digital

Speaker Profile

• Gautam was the Head of Asia Telecom & Media and SE Asia TMT from
2006-2016 at Bank of America Merrill Lynch based in Singapore. He was responsible for industry expertise and client coverage across a broad set of verticals including: Telecom: wireless, broadband, towers, internet infrastructure, satellites; Media: Pay TV, FTA, content, OTT; and Technology including Internet, ecommerce and FinTech amongst others

• Gautam has spent over thirteen years working closely with APAC
telecom operators on their strategic initiatives covering in-market consolidation, new growth markets, spectrum, 3G +LTE network rollouts, NetCo partnerships, enhancing internet access and subscriber penetration (network coverage, affordable tariffs, bundling/alliances, handset subsidies). He has also been covering the emerging digital ecosystem in SE Asia and working with local internet companies including on the nascent yet evolving internet regulatory framework

• Over the past few years, he has focused primarily on SE Asia - given
the complexity and political sensitivity of Telecom/internet licensing and regulation in this region, the spectrum scarce environment challenges and the constantly evolving technologies, this role has involved extensive interactions with key stakeholders - Telco operators, shareholders, regulators, Government Departments/policymakers.

• Gautam is deeply passionate about the sector and in particular about
bringing the world’s large unconnected population online at a reasonable cost and in a relevant manner. He has been a part of the telco voice penetration rapidly growing from the mid teens to over a 100% in SE Asia and witnessed the benefits this has brought to the hitherto underserved. He strongly believes the same needs to happen with internet access in an expeditious manner  - the unconnected need to be connected and this has to be driven by an accelerated and collaborative effort across relevant stakeholders - organizations, governments and businesses

• Gautam has focused on developing deep, long term relationships with
selected TMT companies and driving CEO/CFO/Board of Directors level strategic M&A and financing dialogues. In particular, he has extensive experience in Indonesia where he has worked on the most complex transactions involving the largest wireless consolidation and the largest Telecom towers transactions to date, all of which involved extensive regulatory and policymaker interactions

• He has over 18 years’ experience in Investment Banking in senior
roles across the US and Asia. Prior to rejoining Merrill Lynch in Singapore, Gautam has worked with HSBC and ABN AMRO in Hong Kong.
Previously, Gautam was with the Global Communications Group at Merrill Lynch in New York for five years, whom he joined post his MBA. He started his career with Lazard in India

• Gautam received an MBA from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

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