Travel Tech Q&A: Optus' Maha Krishnapillai

Travel Tech Q&A: Optus' Maha Krishnapillai

Summary: Optus director of government and corporate affairs for Victoria, Maha Krishnapillai, spends his time thrashing out telco regulatory issues with the government. It's a job that means a lot of travel, so to keep up-to-date he uses a planeload of tech.

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Optus director of government and corporate affairs for Victoria, Maha Krishnapillai, spends his time thrashing out telco regulatory issues with the government. It's a job that means a lot of travel, so to keep up-to-date he uses a planeload of tech.

Maha Krishnapillai

Maha Krishnapillai (Credit: Optus)

What tech do you travel with and why?

The BlackBerry Torch is my essential travel gadget. Its large display screen and slide-out keyboard makes browsing and typing effortless on the run. The extended battery duration is my life saver when I'm on the road taking phone call after phone call.

What's your favourite phone app and why?

Definitely the email application, it's my office away from home, and RSS News as it keeps me up-to-date with all the latest news and information.

Most memorable travel story/experience

There have been so many but the first one that springs to mind is speaking at the 2005 APEC Tel Conference in Peru. Together with telecommunications ministers we discussed the next generation of information technology and the increasing development of broadband.

The conference concluded with a four-day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which was simply magical. I walked in the footsteps of the Inca Empire surrounded by a beautiful landscape and ancient ruins — an extraordinary and unforgettable experience!

Personal travel advice/tip?

Make sure you are on the right mobile plan before you head overseas to ensure you're getting the best value and check your data usage allowance regularly.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Fortunately, for me I can sleep through anything. I avoid jet lag by sleeping through my flight and commencing a normal routine as soon as I touch down.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

After paying the cab fare from the airport I was really looking forward to the domestic comforts of home after six weeks absence. But this was not meant to be, as an irate cab driver abused me when he discovered that my much cherished bottle of duty free Baileys whiskey had leaked through my suitcase and all over the cab's back seat. After paying for the cab's cleaning I tried to save the Baileys from further loss only to find my laptop drenched throughout in sticky liquid and destroyed! Lesson learned. Don't try carrying everything in a single bag and keep your liquids in separate luggage — "preferably in your belly..."

Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?

The last thing I do before I leave home is make sure my mobile is fully charged, it's my lifeline while on the road.

Topics: Telcos, Travel Tech, Optus

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • He uses a BlackBerry because BlackBerrys use the least data of all smartphones, and Optus' global roaming rates are by far the worst... $20/MB, compared to $15/MB with Telstra or $10 with Vodafone. Gotta keep those costs under control, Maha.
    DanW1