Home, UK 27 June, 2018 16.00 BST
Elections for two Board seats at Nominet UK are currently taking place, and I have decided to throw my hat in to the ring. Why? Well, I am passionate about Nominet and what it does and has done… and I would like to contribute toward its future.
For some reason, this year, the election statements and candidate videos are not being published outside of Nominet Membership-only accessible areas. I believe in openness and transparency. As the role is in an organisation that affects many more stakeholders than just the membership, I take the view that such matters should also be available to the stakeholders at large. After all, the current weighted voting system relies on the number of domains a Member’s Registrar business has under management (the idea being that the more domains you have under management, the more say you have as you represent those end-user stakeholders and their views).
Thus, I am publishing my election statement, supporting documents and video here.
First, the video statement…
The Proposers: Claranet & BT
Proposed by David Freeman (Claranet) Claranet supports this nomination. Denesh has a notable background in the Domain Name System and registrar community, along with engagement in other relevant industry fora such as DNS OARC, RIPE and UKNOF. We have believed for some time that Denesh has relevant experience and industry engagement to make an excellent board member for Nominet. Indeed we feel this was well demonstrated in his prior term. Regards David Freedman Claranet Seconded by Neil McRae (BT) BT nominates Denesh Bhabuta for the position of member elected Non-Executive Director at Nominet. Denesh has been involved and engaged in DNS and the wider registrar community, ICANN, RIPE, NANOG, UKNOF, DNS OARC and other industry fora for more than two decades. We reflect on his previous term (until 2017) with huge positivity - one which underlines Denesh’s view that Nominet is a membership organisation with a public purpose. This was demonstrated by him pushing for appropriate diversification to secure the survival of the core business, increased member engagement, openness, transparency, democracy and better communication. We firmly believe Denesh has the right experience and wider industry engagement to serve as an excellent board member for Nominet. Regards Neil McRae MD - Strategy and Architecture. BT Chief Architect BT
Having served as a Nominet Board Member previously (2014 – 2017) I would like to request your vote to allow me another term in office. I am passionate about Nominet, its stakeholders and its future. My “gap year” not only gave me the opportunity to reflect on my previous term, but also allowed me to work on other projects and interests that had been bubbling away. This in turn allows me to bring some new insights and experiences in to Nominet. I finally got the Portuguese Network Operators Group off the ground, in a country with a different business mindset. I am also now part of the RIPE Diversity Task Force which looks at encouraging diversity in the community at large. Having been on the Board in the past I will bring stability and a sense of familiarity to the team. I have been involved with Nominet in one form or another since 1996, and have seen it grow since its inception, steering through various challenges and changes in the industry and business environment. My guidance to Nominet was initially through feedback channels, the nom-steer mailing list and then by being involved with the creation of and being elected to the Policy Advisory Board between 1999 and 2006. I continued my involvement by attending Nominet AGMs, EGMs, and taking part in consultations and round tables. It was a real privilege to serve the wider stakeholder community whilst I was a Board member from 2014 - 2017. I reflect on my previous term and am happy to report that I promoted all of my key beliefs whilst on the Board. My main achievements were • to ensure an understanding within the Board of the fundamental difference between Members and Registrars (despite current practical terms dictating they may be one and the same. This, in my view, allows the organisation to move forward. • pursuing increased member engagement. • promoting and supporting openness, transparency, democracy and better communication. eg, no recommendation of candidates, smoother elections process • supporting cautious and apt diversification to ensure the longevity of the core business of running the .uk registry remains paramount That said, I have more to give. I would like to continue to steer Nominet in a direction appropriate for its future and that of its stakeholders. I am passionate about keeping Nominet as a membership organisation and would like to see an expanded membership to support the longevity of the .uk registry and its Public Purpose ideals. In my view, there is more that needs to be done in terms of membership equality and equity. I have a pragmatic approach to everything. My involvement within the industry at large over the past 29 years and continued participation and engagement in various fora - Domains and DNS, Networks, Operations, Engineering, Security, Policy and Governance - give me a holistic view and the desired experience to the Board. Please feel free to contact me via the contact form at https://denesh.uk if you have any questions.
You may also refer to: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denesh/
I am a motivated and very experienced person in many different business areas - Internet, education, events, arts, health, property and retail. My roles have varied from being at the coalface, through guidance and management to giving business continuity and strategic direction to companies. Skills & Experience Ability to step back and independently assess and evaluate information Board level experience in various types of organisations - profit, not for profit, member based Explaining technical jargon in terms most people can understand Fantastic networker Open minded and receptive Policy and Governance background in Internet industry Understanding of Internet (domains, network infrastructure, operations) and how it all fits together Current Roles Portuguese Network Operators Group, Lisbon, PT ; Open forum for technical and operational knowledge sharing Co-founder and Committee Member (2017 - Present) Elm Green Parents Association, Chelmsford, UK ; Registered Charity (Number: 1151342) supporting the school and school community to advance the education of pupils Trustee (2016 - Present) OARC Inc., Indianapolis, IN, USA ; Non Profit member based Research Organisation External Relations & Event Director (2014 - Present) - under contract via Meidan Ventures Limited Meidan Ventures Limited, Cambridge, UK Director & Principal Consultant (2013 - Present) Business areas: D&A Events UK (Event Management) Denesh Bhabuta Management Consultancy Cyberstrider (Reselling Internet Solutions) Internet Protocol Limited, Cambridge, UK ; IPv4 Address Space strategy, sourcing Director (2013 - Present) D&A Events Limitada, Lisbon, Portugal ; Event Management Director & Chairman (2011 - Present) UKIF Limited, Oxford, UK ; Not for profit organisation running UK Network Operator’s Forum (UKNOF) Executive Director (2011 - Present) UKNOF Event Director (2006 - Present) - under contract via Meidan Ventures Limited Usurp ; Not for profit arts collective Chairman (2003 - Present) Past Roles Nominet UK and Nominet Registrar Services Limited Non-Executive Director (2014 - 2017) In my time at Nominet, I was a member of the following committees: Audit & Governance Committee Development Working Group Elections Sub-Committee Membership Engagement Working Group Nominations Committee Cybershire Limited ; Internet & IP Transit Services Director (2010 - 2013) UK ENUM Consortium Limited ; Not for profit organisation - ENUM Governance Executive Director (2008 - 2010) London Internet Exchange ; Not for profit Internet Exchang Point Programme Committee Member (2006 - 2009) LONAP Limited ; Not for profit Internet Exchange Point Finance Director (2004 - 2006) Aexiomus Limited ; IP Transit Provider Chief Operations Officer (2001 - 2011) RIPE NCC ; European IP Address Resource Organisation Local Internet Registry Working Group Co-Chair (2001 - 2003) FirstMark Communications Europe (Germany based) ; Communications & Internet Services Internet Services Specialist (European Core Network Planning) (2000 - 2001) Level (3) Communications ; Communications & Internet Services Internet Services Support Group Manager (1999 - 2000) Demon Internet ; Internet Services Hostmaster Group Manager (1996 - 1999) Nominet UK Policy Advisory Group Member (1999 - 2006) Cyberstrider (Limited since 1999) ; Internet Services Director (1993 - 2010) Other roles: Software Analyst, HENSA/micros, Lancaster University (1994 - 1996) ; Business Consultant, Greenwich Technology Partners Limited (2001) ; Director, Denesh Bhabuta Corporation Limited (2003 - 2010) ; Non-Executive, Inner Healing Limited (2004 - 2009) ; Programme Committee & Funding Council, UKNOF (2005 - 2013) ; Non-Executive, NJ Training Limited (2007 - 2008) ; Director, DB Corp Limited (2010 - 2013) Education International House, Lisbon, PT University of Cambridge CELTA (2011) Institute of Commercial Management Dip, Event Management with Public Relations (2007) Institute of Management Introductory Award in Management (1997) University of Westminster PGDip, Cognitive Science and Intelligent Computing (1994) Queen Mary and Westfield, University of London BSc (Hons), Biotechnology with Business Studies (1992)
1. Are you or is any person connected to you a Director or a shareholder of a company which is: • A member of Nominet? • In partnership with Nominet? • In a joint venture with Nominet? Meidan Ventures Limited (of which I am a Director and 100% shareholder) is a Member and Registrar of Nominet. Connected via corporate body (UKIF Limited and OARC, Inc): Keith Mitchell T/A SMOTI Enterprises Inc. is a Member and Registrar of Nominet. Keith Mitchell himself is a Director and Board Member at UKIF Limited (a not-for-profit organisation running the UKNOF conferences, where I am one of the six Directors on the Board and Meidan Ventures Limited provides end-to-end Event Management services). Nominet is a participant at and a potential sponsor of UKNOF. Keith Mitchell is also President of the non-profit membership organisation OARC, Inc. - the DNS Operations, Analysis and Research Center (DNS-OARC) - of which Nominet is a paid member and has been a sponsor. Meidan Ventures Limited supplies end-to-end Event Management services to DNS-OARC. I do not have a Director or Board position within OARC, Inc. 2. Are you a member of Nominet in your own right? No. However, Meidan Ventures Limited (of which I am a Director and 100% shareholder) is a member of Nominet. 3. Have you, or any person connected with you, been a registrant of any .uk domains over the past five years? If so, please provide full details. Yes. The number of domains has been numerous and it is easier for me to supply registrant names which can easily be checked within Nominet’s systems for historical and current domains. Domains I have been a registrant of directly and for any bodies I have been involved with at director/board/committee/shareholder/ trustee level have included the registrant names: Denesh Bhabuta, Meidan Ventures Limited, D&A Events Limitada, UKIF Limited, Usurp, Simon Underwood, Poulomi, Poulomi Desai, Denesh Bhabuta Corporation Limited, DB Corp Limited, Cyberstrider Limited, Cyberstrider Network Services Limited, Aexiomus Limited, Cybershire Limited, UK Enum Consortium Limited, Elm Green Parents Association. Registrant names of connected person domains: Personal domains belonging to family members - wife, brother, sister, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, grandparents ; and Company domains belonging to them under Registrant Names - Contemporary Living Limited, Contemporary Living (Contractors) Limited, Contemporary Living (Furniture) Limited, Auston Legal Limited, Diyas Productions Limited, JPL Trading Limited, JPL Entertainment Limited, VG Corp Limited, Simplify Me Limited. 4. Have you, or any person connected with you, been a Nominet registrar during the past five years. If so, please provide details of all relevant tags, together with the number of domains registered under each tag. Yes. Meidan Ventures Limited (of which I am a Director and 100% shareholder) currently has the following active tags: CYBERSTRIDER (22 Domains), CS (66 Domains). These along with CYBES, AEXIOMUS, DOMAINSONLINE, and BARGAINDOMAINS were inherited from previous Nominet registrar, Cybershire Limited. Regarding the registrar connected via corporate body (as mentioned in Q1 above) - as I am not involved in or in control of its day to day business, I am unable to provide the tags other than the one I am aware of and I am also unable to give the number of domains under the tags. As far as I am aware: Keith Mitchell T/A SMOTI Enterprises, Inc has tag KEITHMITCHELL 5. Does any person you are associated with have any of the following relationships with Nominet? By “associated”, we mean to include any formal or informal contractual and/or advisory relationships. Examples include: Supplier, customer (as registrant or registrar), competitor, banking, distribution and/or any other ongoing, but material relationship (such as a dispute) etc. Meidan Ventures Limited (of which I am a Director and 100% shareholder): 1) Resells the services of the following Nominet Members and Registrars:- a) Astutium Limited - Nominet Registrar Tag ASTUTIUM b) Domainmaster Limited - Nominet Registrar Tag DOMAINMASTER c) Entanet International Limited - Nominet Registrar Tag ENTANET 2) Provides end-to-end Event Management Services to: a) OARC, Inc (DNS-OARC) — a non-profit membership organisation, of which Nominet is a member, and has been a DNS-OARC workshop sponsor. Suppliers, sponsors, delegates, customers, volunteers, committee members - may be Nominet competitors and /or Nominet members (and/or Registrars) in their own right,. b) UKIF Limited - a not for profit organisation which runs the UK Network Operators’ Forum (UKNOF) conferences, within which Nominet are a participant and potential sponsor. Suppliers, sponsors, delegates, customers, volunteers, committee members - may be Nominet competitors and /or Nominet members (and/or Registrars) in their own right,. 3) Provides sales and marketing strategy consultancy to: a) Datacentred Limited - Registrant (datacentred.co.uk) Meidan Ventures Limited (100% Denesh Bhabuta), Internet Protocol Limited (50% Denesh Bhabuta, 50% Melanie Bhabuta), Denesh Bhabuta and connected persons - Melanie Bhabuta, Rajesh Bhabuta, Sheena Bhabuta - use the following: Mike Lewis (Accountant) - Registrant (mikelewis.co.uk) Owen Keane (Barrister) - Registrant (owenkeane.co.uk) Ford Banks Irwin (Solicitors) - Registrant (fordbanksirwin.co.uk) Connected person company: Beebits Limited (100% Melanie Bhabuta), uses: Boox Limited (Accountant) - Registrant (boox.co.uk) I am not aware of any other significant associated relationships. 6. Are you associated with any adviser to Nominet? By “associated”, we mean to include any formal or informal contractual and/or advisory relationships. Examples include: Audit, tax, legal, investment banking, pensions or investments and/or management consultancy etc. No. 7. Are you a member of a Committee or a Commission or do you have a material position with a Regulator, any department of Government, a Trade Body, a Professional Body or a Charitable Organisation? Examples include where the relevant organisation: Influences government policy, influences accounting standards and/or is preparing industry guidance etc. No. 8. Are you associated with an investment organisation of any nature? By “associated”, we mean to include any formal or informal contractual and/or advisory relationships. Examples include: Venture capital/private equity, hedge fund, investment trust/ fund and/or an organisation taking material positions in shares or securities etc. No. 9. Are you in a position that you (or a company you are a director or material shareholder of) could make a profit as a result of your directorship of Nominet? No. 10. Do you know of any other circumstances that could give rise to a potential or actual conflict of interest or duties? No. I do not envisage any conflicts of interest. However if any do arise, they will be handled appropriately via declaration and/or recusal.
Questions & Answers
Nominet’s constitution provides that its activities are to be carried out for the public benefit. In the context of a domain name registry and technology company, what does this mean to you? Public benefit for me primarily means equal access to all without any self-interests blocking the way. In the context of Nominet as a domain name registry and a technology company, this means providing an equitable system, one which is safe, open and transparent with no (or very low) barriers to registering and maintaining a domain name (in terms of the core business) Taking this further, it requires: a safe and secure system to be in place for domain registration and maintenance. high standards of conduct for each part of the chain (Board, management, staff, systems, members, registrars, resellers) in the process of domain registration and ongoing maintenance. all channels to market to be equal and equitable. from the governance side of things, all decisions made by the management need to be open and transparent, subject to scrutiny. from the governance side of things, everything fed into management (in a bottom-up multi-stakeholder process) should be considered. Special/specific interests should not prevail. There will be times where the management may think one route is better than the one in the feedback being received, however the management must always re-consult until a solution is reached which will undoubtably be of public benefit. I am refraining about talking about the future of Nominet here or what other activities it could expand into – my answer is purely in the context of a domain name registry using applicable technology. That said, I do believe Nominet’s existing technology can be used in other areas as a registry service outside of the domain names arena and bringing much needed public and societal benefit. The Nominet Board places a high degree of importance on each director being able to exercise independent judgement, free from any conflicts of interest. Please describe how you would be able to fulfil your duties in the light of your involvement in the domain name industry or your other commercial interests. Independent judgement has been something I have had to exercise over the course of my career, having to juggle hats depending on which organisation/company I was making a decision about at the time. I employed this diligently when I was a Non-Executive Director of Nominet in the past. An example I will use here is that of the time one of my previous companies was a member of Nominet with a large number of .uk domains under its TAG/Registrar. I always made a point of wearing my “membership hat” whenever Nominet wanted us to vote on something. I always voted as a member of Nominet (for the benefit of Nominet rather than for the benefit of my Registrar company). The same applied to my time as a Policy Advisory Board member and in the more recent past, during my tenure as Non-Executive Director of Nominet. This thinking and modus operandi was as important to me then as it is today. As a non-executive director you will be given access to confidential information about Nominet’s business and the commercial dealings which Nominet has with each of its members. In the light of Nominet being a membership organisation, and any member relationships that you may have, please describe how you will comply with your confidentiality obligations, and avoid the perception that one or more members may gain an unfair commercial advantage as the result of your election. I have no history of breaching confidences. I have worked in commercial and non-commercial environments and have been given confidential information which has remained as such. My history with Nominet itself proves this - when I was a founder Policy Advisory Board member and when I also took part in Nominet strategy meetings and in the more recent past, in my role as a Non- Executive Director - where I was given confidential information. I believe all members are equal and should be treated as such. It is thus extremely unlikely that I would provide any Nominet members with any unfair advantage over others, in the course of my professional activities or otherwise. Joining the Nominet Board is a serious commitment both in terms of preparation time and attending meetings. We estimate a minimum annual commitment of 30 days. In the light of your other employment, business and personal commitments, please describe how you are able to meet this commitment. I am an independent consultant running my own businesses where time management and allocation are an important part of my daily routine - especially with the various customers and projects I am working on. I would not enter into something without having the necessary time resource to commit. As with my other commitments, I will continue to work with the Nominet Board when it comes to preparing for, planning and attending meetings and any other Nominet business.