Lifetime of Achievement: Robin Khuda

Data Centre Magazine shines a spotlight on the incredible career of AirTrunk’s Founder and CEO Robin Khuda

Billed as an exceptional leader and passionate manager with a charismatic approach to his work at large, Robin Khuda is no stranger to tackling complex tasks head-on.

AirTrunk’s Founder and CEO, Khuda has a wealth of experience across the data centre industry, having been a founding member of NEXTDC and its subsidiaries, where across his time with the business he held roles including Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sales and Marketing, as well as being a member of the Board of Directors. 

During his three-year tenure at NEXTDC, Khuda played a key role in growing the brand from a start-up to a successful ASX-300 company with approximately AU$500 million market capitalisation.

AirTrunk: Launching Australia’s first and largest hyperscale data centres

A committed and hardworking individual praised for his dedication and attention to detail, as Founder and CEO Khuda oversees day-to-day operations at AirTrunk — Australia’s largest independent hyperscale data centre provider — while helping nurture its expansion in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. He established the brand as a technology company with a powerful purpose, to scale and sustain the relentless growth of the region's digital future. 

AirTrunk executes this by sustainably redefining and delivering data centres that meet the needs of its customers, which include some of the world's most transformational companies. With operations in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, and has announced further operations in Australia and Japan, as well as a new data centre in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

A significant contributor to the data centre industry

It’s not just those who have worked alongside Khuda that hold him in high regard. In 2020, he was made a recipient of the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC)’s Outstanding CEO Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of information and communications, and earlier this year was inducted into the Communications Day Hall of Fame for his contribution to the Australian telecommunications industry.

On receipt of this award, Khuda said: “AirTrunk took the first mover advantage and pioneered hyperscale data centres in the Asia Pacific and Japan region, offering unmatched scale, speed, efficiency and reliability to support this unprecedented growth.

“While I continue to be proud of what AirTrunk has achieved as a business, I’m most grateful for the opportunities that leading AirTrunk has given me to develop the next generation of tech talent and bring more women into the industry.”

As well as this, Khuda is held in high regard by industry publications, being awarded Asia Pacific Business Leader of the Year 2018 by DatacenterDynamics and in Tech in Asia's Top 30 Tech Startup Founders in 2018. He has also featured in Capacity Media's Power 100 list, Data Economy's Power 200 and the APAC 50.

Goldman Sachs, in 2019, named him among the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of that year, and his sustainability and DE&I practices has seen him grace the Top 10 CEOs globally for Sustainability in 2022 by Data Centre Magazine.

And this too has been reflected at AirTrunk, with the company awarded the inaugural Hyperscale Award at the 2018 Datacloud Awards in Monaco under Khuda’s leadership.

The Khuda Family Foundation

Alongside his work in the data centre industry, Khuda is a philanthropist with a keen passion for STEM skills development and women in technology, along with mental health and domestic violence prevention.

The Khuda Family Foundation was founded in April 2020 supports women in STEM, The Sydney Women’s Fund for STEM education and to aid with family health and wellbeing, with beneficiaries including the unemployed and victims of crime and disaster. Registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), the foundation helps lift up communities in and around the Sydney area.

Along with the foundation, each year Khuda walks more than 30km in the Sydney Coastrek event with fellow AirTrunk team members, creating awareness and raising funds for mental health in support of Australian mental health and wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue.


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