Sanjay Masrani (1930-1992) was an Indian businessman and entrepreneur known for his influence in Southeast Asian telecommunications, primarily through the founding and operation of Mascom Network. He is indirectly responsible for creating Masrani Global Corporation, a holding company of which Mascom and later sister companies are subsidiaries.
At Mascom, he held the position of CEO from the company’s founding in 1973 until his death in 1992, a period of nineteen years. His death was sudden and unexpected; the exact cause has not been disclosed. Upon Sanjay Masrani’s death, his son Simon Masrani assumed the position of CEO at Mascom.
The given name Sanjay has Hindi and Sanskrit origins. It means “conquering” or “triumphant,” and is also sometimes translated to mean “victory.” His surname, Masrani, also originates in India but its meaning has not been elaborated upon.
Sanjay Masrani was born in Bombay (what is now Mumbai), India in 1930. At the time, the British Raj was in place, meaning the country was under the rule of the British Crown; in August 1947, when Masrani would have been about seventeen years old, the time of British India came to a close and the country was partitioned. This was a tumultuous time for South Asia as the newly-drawn borders resulted in violent conflicts. At this time, it is unknown how Masrani’s life was affected by these events.
At some point in his twenties or thirties, he was married. In 1967 when he was thirty-seven years old, his wife gave birth to a son, whom he named Simon.
On February 16, 1973, Sanjay Masrani founded a company called Mascom Telecommunications Network in Mumbai. The company took some time to find its footing on the market; television was still fairly new and uncommon in India at that time. Mascom got its break in 1979 by unveiling a concept for fiber-optic communication. This was a new technology in the 1970s, and by adopting it early in its run, Mascom got an edge over its competition. As the company grew, Masrani began to make new connections; these included the Scottish businessman Dr. John Hammond, who had founded a company of his own called International Genetic Technologies with his partner Sir Benjamin Lockwood in 1975. Masrani and Hammond became more than fellow businessmen: they became close friends.
After ten years of preparations through research and development, Mascom was ready to launch, and it did so in 1983. It was a success from the beginning, with a full network of satellites having been built and put in orbit and the fiber-optic technology serving them well. Its main customers were India and its neighboring South Asian countries, and it established as a young but noteworthy company on the local market.
By the early 1990s, the company offered slightly more than forty-five channels, and with India only possessing one national channel prior to Mascom’s creation, there was little competition. The company performed quite well, and the money made from its success elevated the Masrani family to a place of comfort and financial security.
Death and legacy
With little warning, Sanjay Masrani passed away in 1992 at the age of sixty-two, leaving his wife and son heartbroken. Simon, only twenty-five years old, inherited Mascom Network and became CEO. This loss also affected Masrani’s friends; Hammond was deeply saddened and stepped in as a surrogate father figure to the young and grieving Simon. He fulfilled this role until the end of 1997, when Hammond passed away as well.
Although he did not live to see it, Mascom became the start of one of the largest and most diversified companies of its day under the guidance of his son. Simon Masrani established a second company, Masrani Oil Industries, in 1996 and created a holding company called Masrani Global Corporation to manage both. As the years passed, Simon added more and more subsidiaries under the Masrani Global belt, some through corporate mergers while others were among those he created. By 2004, he had become a billionaire, and was the eighth richest man in the world at the time of his death in 2015. As Simon Masrani died without having any children and had himself been Sanjay’s only son, his family lineage ended, and the company passed into other hands.
Sanjay Masrani was a shrewd businessman with the success to prove it. He founded Mascom Network, which went on to become the basis for the gigantic Masrani Global Corporation some time after his death. This growth occurred while his son Simon was CEO; all of Simon’s early business skills were taught by his father. Sanjay was also close friends with entrepreneur John Hammond, another successful businessman. While there was no established relationship between Mascom and InGen, both men surely learned from one another and applied their shared knowledge. It is unknown how much of Sanjay Masrani’s wealth was hereditary and how much was earned through his business ventures.
His business style is described by his son (in the mobile game Jurassic World: The Game) as being cobra-like, waiting patiently and striking when the time is right. This was certainly demonstrated with the establishment of Mascom, which took ten years of research and development to get off the ground. Beginning in 1973, the company began designing and constructing satellites, but did not go on the air until 1983. This period of patient waiting for the right time paid off, as fiber-optics were first used for telecommunication in 1977. Had Masrani launched his Mascom satellites too early, he would have missed the chance to incorporate fiber-optics into his systems and other companies would have gotten the edge. Instead, by waiting, he was able to utilize this new technology in 1979 to better what his own company had to offer.
As discussed above, Sanjay Masrani believed that patience was the key to success in business, rather than rushing ahead at the first sight of any new lead. This belief served him well by ensuring that he did not execute his plans prematurely. Many of his business views, such as his value of innovative technologies, were inherited by his son Simon. These beliefs made Masrani Global Corporation a runaway success over the next several decades. Simon also held a powerful sense of personal accountability, which was likely learned from Sanjay; this led to Masrani Global becoming an excellent place to work and to Simon himself becoming well-loved by his employees and the public.
Sanjay Masrani’s first and foremost relationships were with his family. He was married sometime before 1967, meaning he was in his twenties or thirties. His wife’s name is currently unknown, as are the circumstances under which they were married (arranged marriages were very common in India at the time, but not universal). In 1967 he had a son, who he named Simon. Father and son were very close with each other, and Sanjay taught Simon all he knew about business.
After Sanjay passed away, Simon took his father’s lessons to heart and applied all that he had learned to grow Mascom and found new companies alongside it. In the end, the head start given to him by his father’s hard work and triumphs enabled him to become an even greater success: at the time of his death, Simon Masrani was the eighth richest man in the world, with around US $42 billion to his name.
According to Jurassic World: The Game, Sanjay Masrani’s widowed wife was still alive as of the summer of 2015 and well enough to travel. Simon’s wealth was more than enough to support her many times over, and since Sanjay had been the reason Simon was able to make it in the world economy, Sanjay was indirectly able to provide for his family long after his death.
Masrani’s success as a businessman would never have been possible without the hard work of the people he employed at Mascom Telecommunications Network, who were the true source of his money. For the most part, his relationship with his workers is not known, but if his son Simon’s attitude toward employer-employee relations is any indicator, Sanjay was an approachable, fair, and respectful leader who valued all of his workers’ diligent efforts.
Dr. John Parker Alfred Hammond
While he probably had numerous friendships with other business leaders of his day, Sanjay Masrani’s best-known friend was the Scottish entrepreneur and InGen founder, Dr. John Hammond (it is unknown if he was friends with Hammond’s business partner, Sir Benjamin Lockwood, as well). They probably became acquainted with each other while Hammond was visiting India for business purposes, since Masrani did not have any ventures outside of South Asia. Both men founded companies within two years of each other, so they had many ambitions and struggles in common. Hammond also became fond of Simon, and after Sanjay died in 1992, Hammond stepped in to support the young man through the trials and tribulations of running a company and coping with the loss of a parent.
Four years after Sanjay passed away, Simon established Masrani Global Corporation, and then in 1998 not long after Hammond also passed away he acquired InGen as a subsidiary. This merger was the end result of the friendship between John Hammond and Sanjay Masrani, and it manifested itself as the Jurassic World theme park.
So far, Sanjay Masrani has yet to personally appear in any Jurassic media. He was first mentioned by name on the Masrani Global website, which is where most information about him comes from. Jurassic World: The Game has also referenced him, though not by name, in Simon Masrani‘s dialogue.