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K. Paul Singh
Friday, November 21, 2008

Age 48
Place of Birth

Residence Great Falls, VA

Family Wife and 2 Children

Came to the U.S. 1971

Education MBA ( Harvard Business School, 1982), MSEE ( State University Of NY at StonyBrook, 1973)

First job System Engineer at RCA Americom (now known as GE Americom)

Company started 1994

Year did an IPO 1996

Year became millionaire 1989

Favorite charity We have a family foundation, named " The K. Paul Singh and Virginia M. Singh Foundation," that supports a variety of charities each year.

Lifetime goals Help other enterpreneurs to realize their dreams

Net worth $125-150 million

Philosophy of life Do the best that you can and don't worry about the little stuff.

Most inspired by Everyday enterpreneur

Most excited by Seeing our kids grow and develop.

Most expensive thing ever bought Our house

Paul K. Singh has played a leading role in the telecommunications business, frequently capitalizing on the opportunities provided by global deregulation. He sold a company he founded to Panamsat, the satellite telecommunications behemoth, another to MCI and now runs the fiercely independent Primus Telecommunications.

Singh came to the US to study electrical engineering at the State University of New York at Stonybrook and went on to work for RCA Satellite Telecommunications in 1973. After gaining several years of experience as a designer of international satellite systems, Singh joined the Harvard Business School where he earned a M.B.A. degree in 1982.

He then briefly worked for Microwave Associate Communications before forming Cygnus Satellite Corporation, which was one of only three companies that secured licenses to launch satellites once Intelsat’s monopoly was ended in the early 1980s.

In 1984, only two years after gaining the licenses, Singh sold Cygnus to Panamsat. The move was probably a mistake, Singh has acknowledged, because the company may now be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.” But “in those days the offer seemed like a lot of money,” he once told an interviewer.

A shrewd businessman, Singh then founded Overseas Telecommunications Inc., initially targeting the business market for high-speed digital data. In 1984, this was a market that was not only untapped — it was virtually unknown, with the only 56KB transmission in the hands of NASA. Singh built OTI into the world’s largest network of 40 earth stations. In 1991, Singh sold OTI to MCI, joining the increasingly powerful telecommunications conglomerate.

It was after several years that Singh returned to work for somebody else, but he learned some quick lessons before again heading out on his own. Although he was a believer of MCI’s GlobalOne concept of providing truly global one-stop service to its customers, he also believed that companies such as MCI were not truly global in their operation because these do not own networks outside the United States. The companies tended to be primarily US companies and only exported sales people, he contended.

With the goal of setting up a telecommunications company that was truly global, Singh started Primus, with his first order of business being setting up operations in Australia in 1995. Studying global calling patterns, Singh identified eight countries that made the most number of calls and targeted them: Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada, the U.K., Germany, France and Italy. Later, Primus added more, including Brazil. The company also plans to set up operations in India.

“The underlying driver of the business of global telecom came from the national boundaries coming down because of deregulation,” Singh told siliconindia in a recent interview.

“Whenever there are structural changes in businesses, especially big businesses like telecom, the new entrants have an edge.”

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