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Pradman Kaul speaks as part of "CEO at Smith"

By Linda Poon
On March 3, 2011


"You must have passion in whatever you do.... Unless there is real passion, there can
only be mediocrity."
Hughes Network Systems (HNS) President and CEO Pradman Kaul stood before a
roomful of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members Tuesday night in Van
Munching Hall and gave insight to the success of the world's leading supplier of broadband
satellite services.
More importantly, especially for students who may not fathom exactly what corporate
leaders do this portion of the two-year "CEO at Smith" series inspired and taught students about
the qualities of leadership that lead to success.
For years, HNS has had a connection with the University of Maryland, employing over
175 graduates. Kaul's son and daughter are alumni to this university. So when the Robert H.
Smith School of Business invited him to give a speech, he was more than happy to.
"We are proud training and employment partners with the University of Maryland," Kaul said.
Kaul kicked off the event by explaining the importance of satellite communication to
globalization and journalism before moving on to its benefits for companies all over the world
from CNN in American to companies in India. As HNS finds new ways to expand the quality
of its technology, they are determined to create even more applications to "drive the world of
A PowerPoint presentation, outlining the specifics details of how HNS operates, showed
their business model, which moved from a manufacturing company to a service provider.
According to Kaul, the company now earns 70 percent of their revenues from their broadband
service, compared to 50 percent a few years ago.
Perhaps the greatest impression left on the students in the audience was Kaul explaining
the leadership and culture behind HNS that lead to the company's ultimate success.
"The first thing that I always like to say is that our culture are based on some core
values... [from] almost 25 years ago," he said. These values include commitment, innovation,
trust and open communication. "To this day, it is something that we passionately believe in and
practice every day of our lives."
In addition, Kaul added that as a leader, these core values must be accompanied be
passion. And with passion, there must be a sense of perseverance that will make the company
more resilient and stronger each time.
Graduate student Andrew Gendreau, who a former intern at HNS, confirmed after the
speech that the values Kaul talked about were there.
"You can really tell that there was passion in the people who worked there," he said.
Standing next to him was the company's human resource generalist, Zelina Murray, who
was more than happy to discuss the pride she felt for HNS.
"I'm really proud of our company. We put in a lot of work value and gave something to
our consumers that they can be proud of too," she said.

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