Leadership2050: To boldly go

'To have net zero on earth you need to have net zero in space.'

Leadership2050: Andrew White and Rajeev Suri

In this episode of Leadership2050 Andrew talks to ‘turnaround specialist’ Rajeev Suri, CEO of leading satellite provider Inmarsat, about successfully riding the waves of change and the importance of sustainability on earth and in space.

Born in India and raised in Kuwait, for 25 years Rajeev Suri worked for Nokia, and made his name as the CEO who reinvented the company following the sale of its handset business.

His experience in the telecoms industry, which was one of the first to face wave after wave of intense change, provides key insights for leaders dealing with flux in the business world today.

Two years ago he was appointed CEO of the global satellite communications company Inmarsat, where he has been focusing on growing the company, its core purpose, and leading the way in the sector on carbon neutrality.

You don’t get people to join you these days, or stay with you, if you don’t have a purpose that resonates with them, that is above and beyond just focusing on profits. Focus on purpose, remember why you exist, and what impact you make on your industry and society.

Inmarsat was the first satellite communications company in the world to commit to being net zero by 2050. But Rajeev is committed to not just delivering on net zero targets for his own company, but also exploring the decarbonisation potential of space technologies - in other words taking technologies that have been developed in the space industry, and then applying them in other industries.

(You can learn more about space and sustainability in our Smart Space series)

During his conversation with Andrew, Rajeev shares his leadership lessons, including the importance of building belief, being brave and pushing harder.

Leadership2050 is a podcast exploring the leadership we need to successfully transition to 2050. Who are the innovators setting the agenda for a more equal and sustainable future? In each episode Andrew talks to a visionary leader from the business community who is confronting the challenges humanity faces and finding solutions. 

Andrew's research and teaching focuses on how leaders transcend 21st century challenges such as disruptive technology change and the climate crisis. Also, how they create cultures that are diverse, inclusive, resilient and high performing, alongside the ongoing challenge of delivering profitable growth. At Saïd Business School he directs the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership Programme, and works with leaders from industry and governments across the world.