Community//

Atul Bhatnagar: “Listen to others and seek to understand their situation”

Each of us needs to believe in the goodness of people and take one step at a time while encouraging others to do the same with positivity. Put one foot in front of the other every day thereby making the next day better than the previous one. As a leader I try to do one […]


Each of us needs to believe in the goodness of people and take one step at a time while encouraging others to do the same with positivity. Put one foot in front of the other every day thereby making the next day better than the previous one. As a leader I try to do one good thing each day, regardless of whether it is big or small, it is important. As we emerge from this pandemic, we will also see that our belief in the goodness of people will be stronger. This crisis too shall pass.


As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Atul Bhatnagar, President and CEO of Cambium Networks.

Under Atul Bhatnagar’s leadership since early 2013, Cambium Networks has increased its global business footprint, expanded its addressable market, and worldwide market share through disruptive, innovative broadband wireless solutions. The company currently has millions of radios deployed in thousands of networks in 147 countries.

Cambium wireless connectivity solutions connect people, places and things — especially in developing communities, smart cities, industrial IoT, defense and other medium-size enterprises such as education and hospitality. By aggressively investing in new advanced technologies, Cambium has evolved its product lines to include the Massive MU-MIMO cnMedusa™ platform and the cnMaestro™ management system, which provides true end-to-end cloud-based management for all Cambium devices.

To further extend its reach globally, Cambium offers an award-winning and innovative channel program. Cambium’s channel has expanded to include more than 3,300 partners worldwide, providing quality connectivity solutions for industrial, enterprise and residential customers.

Previously, Bhatnagar served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ixia, where he enabled strong revenue growth by pursuing high-growth adjacent segments such as LTE and Wi-Fi testing and simulation. He also served as Vice President and General Manager of Nortel’s Enterprise Data Networks division and at Hewlett-Packard Company in several GM positions involving wireless network management and creating innovative internet appliances.

Mr. Bhatnagar holds Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate from Stanford University, along with Corporate Governance executive education at Harvard Business School. He holds an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India.


Thank you for joining us Atul! Can you share your backstory and what brought you to your specific career path?

I have always focused on learning new things and striving to do better. I enjoy working with people and have tried to look at what disruptive technology is around the next corner. This helps me anticipate and adapt appropriately. From my first experience at Hewlett Packard (HP) I have experienced constant evolution and adaptation. The high-tech industry changes every five years or so and the rate of change is increasing. That process of continuous learning and continuous improvement developed me from an engineer to a manager, to a manager of managers, to serving as a business leader. It also taught me to focus on learning from others while keeping my ego in check. As a leader, I enjoy working with specialists who are better than I am because I learn so much from them. My contribution is in mentoring and integrating their experience into the larger body of the business to enable growth.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

My leaders at HP in the 1980’s and 1990’s influenced me the most. They ingrained in me the ability to believe in people, create a conducive work environment, and provide clear direction. They also taught me to be compassionate and understanding while focusing on listening to the best ideas from the people who are closest to the work. People come in to work each day with the intention to do their best, and in a good environment with clear direction, teams can achieve amazing results that can alter the course of so many industries. By being humble, the ideas with the best merit rise to the top, regardless of where they come from. More than a book, it was this experience that shaped my perspective.

Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective. Can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

The COVID pandemic is an unprecedented and challenging time around the world. The fear and uncertainty is a natural response. Over the last hundred years there have been many crises and challenges that the human race has overcome through hope, faith and hard work that has drawn us to take care of each other. While in the moment it may appear insurmountable, there is legitimate reason for confidence.

Each of us needs to believe in the goodness of people and take one step at a time while encouraging others to do the same with positivity. Put one foot in front of the other every day thereby making the next day better than the previous one. As a leader I try to do one good thing each day, regardless of whether it is big or small, it is important. As we emerge from this pandemic, we will also see that our belief in the goodness of people will be stronger. This crisis too shall pass.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

  1. Ensure that we ourselves are not anxious. We must prioritize our own health first, both physical and mental. If we have well-being and health, then we can offer well-being and health to others. This takes daily commitment and the ability to objectively reflect on how we ourselves are doing in our given role.
  2. Listen to others and seek to understand their situation. By listening, we can understand the true root cause behind their anxiety. Most of the time, empathetic listening will have amazing results in helping the afflicted person and referring them to someone with specific experience who can help. After being heard people determine the needful next steps. By understanding the root cause, as a leader I can determine if any aspect of it is under my control. If there are things we don’t understand, we need to bring in the right expert and seek advice.
  3. Share stories of people who have overcome obstacles. It does not need to be the exact same obstacle. People learn from others’ success in overcoming challenges of any nature.
  4. Focus away from negativity. Focus on people, books, music and movies that take you away from negativity and have a positive influence. Help a person by sharing positive messages that fit their learning style.
  5. Choose the first and last things in your day. Right after getting up, take a moment to start the day in a way that provides positive strength. It will enable you to do better in meetings, calls and email. The same is true of how you end the day. Choose experiences that will help focus on the positive, whatever that is for you. Reflect on the day with gratitude as you end your day.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

Seek a trusted friend who is an outstanding listener and surround yourself with only positive people. Going for a walk in your neighborhood or park is an outstanding way to be in touch with nature that is always nurturing and therapeutic. Also know that this pandemic which will pass. Understand what is and is not in your control. Focus your energy on things that are in your control and do one good thing each day to help others. By persevering to take one step at a time, you will help yourself immensely and emerge from this pandemic with a stronger belief in your ability and in the goodness of others.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I like Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would like to improve the education of challenged children of the world. I would like to provide best in class education by uniting diverse educational expertise to help people at this critical time in their life when their outlook is being created. In a very small way, our wireless connectivity solutions are helping bring the world to young people through their schools. Our work with partners and community leaders in a number of countries is making progress to enable young people to develop a positive outlook and have access to inspiring educational content that will enable them to go forward and help others overcome the challenges that will arise.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Work Smarter//

How a Small Town in Illinois is Bridging the Digital Divide

by Tina Mulqueen
Community//

“We have started a movement to end extreme poverty by 2030″ With Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

“ Top 5 Fintech & Banking Trends” with Atul Tandon CEO Opportunity International

by Breana Patel

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.