This was my first venture. I had been studying for a Ph.D. in semiconductor physics, was having a difficult time and decided to take a year off. During this year off, I was introduced to the directors of Ukrainian-based aluminum metals companies. They complained about difficulty reaching their business partners in New York. I proposed an INMARSAT satellite earth station, they accepted and I spent the next four years traveling throughout Ukraine and Guinea West Africa installing and servicing telecom systems.
- Sales and installations included Londonskaya Hotel in Odessa, Nikolaev Alumina Plant, Zaporozhye Aluminium Smelter, Guinea Bauxite Mining and Kiev Business Centers.
- Negotiated and obtained a license from Trimble Navigation to sell and support GMDSS navigation and communication systems as I expanded the initial customer base to include bulk-shipping companies
The demand for satellite telephony declined in 1995 because fiber optic networks were being installed throughout the former USSR. I attempted to transition the business to software and hardware outsourced design and development services and obtained partnerships with several former-military development firms. I was unable to find customers for these services, however. Instead of returning for my Ph.D. in physics, I went for an MBA in finance and information systems at NYU.