The day we had been waiting for finally arrived – iWireless Solutions turned 10 on 20th September. What better way to mark this occasion than with a few words from the man himself, our Managing Director Ravi Mondair.
In the run up to this momentous day we asked Ravi to answer a few questions about his iWireless Solutions journey, his key highlights and what he has learnt along the journey. Here is what we found out.
When did you start iWireless and why?
I was there at the birth! I really should have filmed it!
After working in the InBuilding Telecoms industry for the previous 11 years, an opportunity arose to work directly as a Consultant for a leading blue chip company, focusing on bespoke systems design and build. This quickly progressed into becoming a design and build supplier for a leading Mobile Network Operator.
Our first main design and build job was for Edge (2G+) rollouts at leading airports across the UK. I still proudly remember and have kept hold of the 1st purchase order of £637.00+vat!
My goal was to put every ounce of effort into the company and ensure it became a leading supplier of designing and deploying systems which were too complex for others. We started to focus heavily on the type of systems that were most challenging, presented greater risks, but also the greatest level of improvements in our clients’ networks. And I enjoyed it massively!
What do you consider the top 3 achievements for the company?
- The team: Enjoying what we do and creating a team of the best engineers and supporting staff in the industry.
- Investing in R&D that works! A key example is extending wireless capacity in Stadia environments and developing new methodologies which challenged the industry. The most prevalent example of this is increasing one of our key client’s wireless capacity at Twickenham Stadium from 1 sector to 50 sectors. A 5000% increase! This led iWireless Solutions to presenting our work to leading wireless experts from across the globe in Chicago in 2012.
- Our projects: Designing and deploying systems in some of the most prestigious / enviable projects in the UK. Virtually all London 2012 venues, Glasgow 2014 venues, Gleneagles Golf event 2014 and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. All of these projects are a great achievement for all of our staff and also a leading testament of their experience gain and collective enjoyment / satisfaction of working on the best possible projects in the industry.
What were the top challenges you faced?
- Adjusting to constant changes within the fast moving telecoms industry and enjoying it!
- Creating a team that consistently steps up to the challenges presented by our clients.
What key lessons have you learnt over the past 10 years of running iWireless?
- We create complex systems, but the best trick is to make the “creation process” and eventual task as simple as possible
- Working hard for too long is rarely good. Take a break and slow down as this’ll give you an opportunity to properly enjoy the successes and reflect on the problems to become better tasked to overcome these
- Change is good on many fronts – especially technology. However, don’t get carried away with too much change “for changes sake” as this consistently leads to problems
- Strive to develop the best possible team and support / trust them as they are crucial to the company and future success!
How has the industry changed over the past 10 years?
Massively! Over the past 10 years, we have seen 2G being overtaken by 3G and 4G, with 5G pressing on our heels now. Wireless service has converted from a ‘nice to have’ to the 4th utility we can’t do without. Data speeds have grown from the maximum 3G speeds of 6 Mbps in 2006 to 1200 Mbps recently demonstrated by DT and Huawei.
What are your favourite memories?
I will always have a soft spot for Twickenham, where I spent considerable amounts of time on the grounds and the rooftops. The R&D we undertook at this venue laid the foundations for sectorisation – which enabled us to get the wireless solution right for the London2012 Games.
- Make sure you love what you do and stick with it – even when things get tough
- Understand how “risk” can drive you and the business to succeed – do not stand still!
- Trust your staff and ensure they have room to grow and progress with their careers
- ALWAYS have a plan B. Even better if there’s a plan C, D, E as a backup!
- Stop work and go home early every now and then – especially when the sun is out!
- Trust your gut feeling as its\ most likely to be right
- Don’t be afraid of making a mistake or 2… or 3
What is your favourite gadget?
I love them all. My drone, Tablet PC, PS4, iWatch (yes I have one and am proud of it!), Devialet sound system (very geeky as it’s 6000W and 14Hz deep in bass!), home walkie talkie system, wireless fog machine… All brilliant!
A gadget I dislike is my wife’s microprocessor controlled Bugatti toaster! Totally unnecessary, and I prefer the car!
Anything you’d like to add about your iWS journey?
It’s been 10 years, and I’m still enjoying it. I can’t wait for the next 10 and what this might bring!
Over the last 10 weeks, we have been publishing a weekly interview blog, sometimes with key staff members, who will tell you about their role in the company, their favourite projects and what they believe makes iWireless Solutions special. Some weeks we took a trip down memory lane, looking at the projects we have undertaken over the last ten years, and the changes we have seen in the industry. We will also be publishing some forward looking blogs over the next few weeks.
Here’s a round up of the blogs so far:
- To read the first week’s story from Kirsty Davis, click here
- There’s another chance to read Sarah Hunt’s iWireless story here
- You can read our week three round up of our highlight projects over our 10 years here
- Our stories from week four came from Gareth Pendry. You can read his memories here
- During week five we looked back at our recruitment process and how it has evolved over the years. You can read this here
- During week six, you can read memories from Lauren Rodrigues. Do have a look here
- Week seven, we heard from Tom Leslie, one of our Design Project Managers. His story is here
- During week eight of our countdown, we posted a timeline of key milestones in the telecoms industry. Have a read here.
- During week nine of the countdown, we heard from Anne Krausse, our Head of Business Development