Long reads

The Euro50 Q&A: Balan Nair, Liberty Global

Liberty Global continues to be one of the most technologically innovative cable operators around, thanks in no small part to the contribution of group chief technology officer Balan Nair. Next year will see the commercial launch of its Horizon set-top/gateway, the fruit of long-term planning stretching back over the last couple of years.

Age 45

Education BSc Electrical Engineering, Masters of Business Administration

Previous positions CTO of AOL; CTO and CIO of Qwest Communications

Last year’s highlights We made huge progress in building a strong organisation in our European operations, and are working on some real exiting products for launch early next year.

Most significant industry development Software technologies have evolved significantly. The processing power of chips have grown dramatically as well. And the combination, along with price efficiencies, make for impressive product opportunities.

Goals for next year Be more operationally efficient. Be able to deliver on committed product launches. Beginning the transition to more web services in our products. Do all of this in while maintaining capital efficiencies.

Industry challenges and opportunities We are beginning a new era of competition, where, the distribution pipe, the end devices and the quality of content are going to be key differentiators. This transition is capital intensive, but it is cable’s to lose.

Alternative career choice I would love to be a stay at home dad.

TV character most identified with I don’t want to insult any TV character or personality by identifying myself with them .

Most admired personality I admire the pioneers in the pay TV space and am lucky to work for a couple of them: John Malone in the US and Mike Fries outside the U.S.

Life outside work Being a dad, running, skiing, eating and enjoying the company of friends and family.