2019 FierceTelecom Rising Star — Cisco’s Kishen Mangat

Cisco's Kishen Mangat (Cisco)

The FierceTelecom editorial team is proud to announce our Rising Stars series in which we’re profiling up-and-coming executives in the telecom industry. We’ve selected a slate of executives from services providers, public cloud companies and telco vendors whom we think are on the rise in 2019. We’ll be doling out the names of our winners, two per day, so that our readers have the time to enjoy reading their profiles. And next week, we’ll post a Rising Stars poll, giving everyone the opportunity to vote for their favorite top executive to watch in the FierceTelecom ecosystem. We hope you enjoy the series!

Kishen Mangat has a passion for doing difficult things — like rock climbing and starting companies. That passion has been instrumental in his success as the VP and general manager of service provider mobility and automation at Cisco Systems.

Mangat doesn’t fit the typical tech executive profile. He is not an engineer. He has a liberal arts degree in economics from Colorado College.

He started his career as an entrepreneur because he said he didn’t want to work for anyone else. His first foray was as the co-founder of HotelNet, a cloud services platform for hotel guests. “The early part of my journey was self-taught,” Mangat noted. HotelNet was eventually acquired by CAIS Internet. 

Mangat also co-founded BroadHop in 2003. BroadHop handled network policy management for wireless networks and made it easier for service providers to develop tiered services based upon bandwidth or a certain application. Cisco acquired BroadHop in 2013. Mangat joined Cisco as part of the acquisition.

Initially, Mangat was tasked with growing BroadHop’s existing business, but in 2015 he added more responsibilities to his plate as service providers started to realize they needed network functions virtualization (NFV) in order to scale and grow their business. He now handles Cisco’s IP automation business and is also overseeing the application software business within the service provider area.

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Mangat said that although early in his career he balked at having to work for someone else, now he enjoys working for a large company that allows him to learn new things and grow in new directions. It also helps to be part of a company that has the resources to do things on a bigger scale. “If you have an idea or a technology, Cisco has the market resources to make it more impactful,” he said.