Starlink India Head, Sanjay Bhargava has resigned citing personal reasons. This comes right after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) ordered the company to refund all the pre-orders to the Indian customers. Starlink was also denied the authority to accept pre-bookings as it didn’t have the commercial license to offer services in the country yet.
In a LinkedIn post, late Tuesday, Bhargava wrote that December 31, 2021, was his last working day as the Chairman of the Board of Starlink India. Bhargava has denied commenting anything further on his decision and has asked for media and individuals to respect his privacy.
Starlink India Facing Troubles, One After Another
Starlink India has been facing roadblocks after roadblocks. The hard thing for the company to do is to get a commercial license for providing services. India currently has a very dynamic regulatory environment where the policies are being discussed and updated for the satellite communications (satcom) sector.
Earlier, Starlink India was directed by the DoT and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to stop taking pre-orders in India. A lot of industry players were having issues with Starlink selling pre-orders despite the absence of a commercial license.
Further, the company was also recently asked by the DoT to refund all pre-orders that it has taken in India. Earlier, Bhargava had shared that the company had plans of applying for a commercial license as early as January 31, 2022, and launching services by April 2022.
There’s no clarity on who is taking over Bhargava’s post and whether the company’s plans will proceed in the manner decided. The decision of Bhargava to step down could be a huge blow for the SpaceX owned satcom company. Starlink already has a presence in multiple other nations, it is also expected to be a part of the Indian market this year. But a lot more challenges lie ahead for the company.