SpaceX appoints Sanjay Bhargava as Starlink’s Country Director India


PayPal’s veteran Sanjay Bhargava has confirmed to join Elon Musk’s SpaceX as Starlink Country Director India. Bhargava joins the tech company starting October.

Bhargava, in his previous role, was the Chairman and Principal Founder of Bharosa Club, an investment advisor firm based in Delhi.

Bhargava shared the update recently through a LinkedIn post. He wrote about his upcoming role in the post and further stated that he shared a common vision with Starlink to support a connectivity transformation in India, starting with the rural parts of the country.

Bhargava’s relationship with Musk goes long back. He had previously worked with the Tesla founder on the PayPal founding team. As per Bhargava’s LinkedIn, he is the inventor of ‘random deposit’. He devised an easier and low-cost method for authenticating bank accounts linked to PayPal. Instead of the expensive method of collecting cancelled cheques, the firm made a low-value deposit and asked the customer to update the transaction id.

Since 2004 though, Bhargava moved to India to work on other projects. Now that he will be working with another Elon Musk-run venture, Bhargava will be aiming to expand the presence of SpaceX’s satellite broadband service Starlink in India.

Starlink, an initiative of SpaceX, is one of the leading satellite broadband service in the world that is quickly expanding its presence in countries. The service relies on a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites to provide Internet connectivity to even the remotest parts of the world.

As per Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, Starlink will break traditional limitations to bring connectivity to such remote areas. The idea, thus, is to provide the service where no other forms of internet connectivity have been observed as yet. For the rest of the world, Starlink promises faster connectivity speeds than what is possible through cables.

Starlink launched its public beta service in several countries in October last year. Just over a week ago, Musk confirmed that the service is now ready to come out of the beta testing phase by October this year. SpaceX is then likely to launch Starlink programs for Indian consumers by next year, provided it clears all the regulatory approvals by then.

SpaceX is even planning to maintain a local manufacturing of satellite communications (satcom) equipment in India, including the likes of antenna systems and user terminal devices. For this, it has been in talks with industry players and stakeholders, including the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).