The RAD Group of companies is a connected group of independent advanced telecommunications equipment makers, based in Israel and supplying global markets. Today the $1.2 billion RAD Group is a world leader in networking and internetworking product solutions.
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One member company of the group, RADWIN, quietly donated 20 of its mobile data link systems to the Philippines to help restore telephone and data services in the aftermath of last month’s typhoon there.
Founded by brothers Zohar and Yehuda Zisapel, each of the current eleven individual companies in the RAD Group had been started by an entrepreneur. Each was then separately funded with equity from RAD, with independent balance sheets and corporate structures, in conjunction with the local venture capital community.
The individual companies of the group basically complement each other in their respective segments of the telecoms market, and at times also even compete with each other too, all to make a better mousetrap for their customers. These are the world’s telecommunications carriers, network and internet providers and suppliers.
Two of the RAD group of companies got together last month, to help out in the Philippines after the major hurricane, or typhoon as hurricanes are generally called in the Pacific, caused huge swathes of destruction there in November.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, or Typhoon Yolanda as it was named in the Philippines, wreaked such havoc that much of the telecommunications infrastructure was completely destroyed in many of the worst affected coastal areas of the Philippines.
RADWIN is a global supplier of sub-6 Gigaherz wireless broadband network radio links. These can be either point to point, or point to multi point, and are deployed by mobile telecommunications carriers in order to deliver radio signals to the receiving cell towers in their networks. The company today sells its products in over 150 countries of the world, and is led by its founder and CEO Sharon Sher.
In order to help repair some of the destroyed infrastructure RADWN joined forces with its sister company RAD Data Communications . RAD Data was actually the first of the RAD Group companies to be founded twenty years ago, and they quickly rounded up, delivered and installed 20 RADWIN 2000 point to point data links, together with a lot of associated equipment, to help quickly rebuild the mobile network in the Philippines after the storm.
These wireless systems products can be set up in just a few hours, and quickly re-enable the transmission of voice, video and data over secured wireless links.
RADWIN’s local general manager in the region Maurice Illouz stated, “This typhoon left unimaginable destruction and many areas were cut off from communications. Restoring the network infrastructure is an essential part of the emergency recovery process. We hope that our donation will assist Philippines’s operators to re-establish communications networks to help facilitate relief efforts.”
RADWIN team member were on the ground shortly after the typhoon passed through, and have only now just corporately released information about their assistance.
This is not the first time RADWIN has done the same thing either. In 2005 the company received a commendation from Thailand’s Royal Princess for contributing links to help reconstruct Thailand’s own mobile network following the Tsunami there. RADWIN also donated wireless broadband solutions following the 2010 earthquake in Chile, to help establish on-site communications in areas impacted by the quake.
This is a very enlightened form of corporate self-interest, as people remember those who help them when they are in difficulty long afterwards, especially when done in such a prompt and efficient fashion, and with no strings attached.
About Zohar and Yehuda Zisapel
Zohar Zisapel was born in Israel in 1949, not long after the founding of the State and today is a successful Israeli high entrepreneur and an extremely successful epitome of the sometimes over-used term “serial entrepreneur”.
The RAD group of companies he co-founded together with his elder brother Yehuda has been called “the world’s most successful incubator” of telecom-related start-ups by Business 2.0 magazine. Today RAD companies, some of which are publicly listed and some of which remain private, employ over 4, 500 people and have sales of over US$1.2 billion each year.
Both Zohar and his brother Yehuda, who is seven years older, were born in Tel Aviv as children of immigrant parents from Poland. Their parents owned and operated a shoe shop on Herzl Street, then and now one of the city’s main thoroughfares – and site of frequent traffic jams in rush hour.
The two brothers both received a public education and then followed the same path to higher education. They each received B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in electrical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and later both earned MBAs from Tel Aviv University.
To help finance his education, Zisapel worked in his spare time supplying lighting to Tel Aviv discotheques, later eventually even becoming the largest manufacturer of strobe in the country.
Yehuda Zisapel founded his own distribution company of data products, called Bynet Data Communications, as early as 1975. Bynet represented major international vendors and was the first to introduce a number of cutting-edge technologies into the Israeli market.
After Zohar served in the Israel Defence Forces he worked for, and later became head of, the Electronic Research Department of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv
In 1981 Zohar moved to the private sector and #joined his brother to establish RAD Data Communications, the first of the RAD companies, to make their own advanced technology driven products.
About Sharon Sher
Sharon Sher founded RADWIN in 1997 and has been President and CEO ever since. He also had previously held management positions in the elite Research and Development unit of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, with emphasis on telecommunication systems and wireless communications.
He has a Masters degree in electronics engineering from Tel Aviv University and a degree in mathematics and physics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.