Thursday, August 30, 2007

MCorp Global likely to list Cellebrum

BK Modi may have been last at the gate when it comes to listing his Spice Telecom. But after mopping up around Rs 530 crore with that IPO, now he wants to step on the gas with taking his other companies to the bourses.
Modi now plans to raise about Rs 1,000 crore by listing Cellebrum, which provides value added services for mobile users and is owned by MCorp Global. However, even the holding company MCorp Globa, which also has Spice's mobile handset business as well as IT and retailing under its umbrella may hit the markets in quick time.Modi wants to use most of the funds raised to beef up his handset manufacturing and retailing businesses, which are growing rapidly.MCorp already sells about one-lakh units a month and wants to capture about 10 per cent of the Indian market by 2010. It is also planning to go international.Spice Mobile phones, which recently launched a dual chip handset has initiated talks with Telekom Malaysia and Qualcomm for selling handsets in the Asian as well as American markets. Its targeting its dual chip phones for these markets as it can operate in both GSM and CDMA bands.

By: Arijit Banerjee,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cellebrum plans mobile advertising through games

Source: Economic Times; Chennai & Hyderabad

IPOs, M& A in mobile value-added services

The entry of investors such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers in a relatively nascent space, such as mobile VAS, is also evidence of the sector maturing

Two mobile value-added services (VAS) start-ups—New Delhi-based Cellebrum.Com Pvt. Ltd and Bangalore-based OnMobile Global Ltd—are slated to go public this fiscal. The proposed initial public offerings (IPOs) signal the maturing of the mobile VAS industry, the highest funded start-up segment in the past two years, with more than $150 million in funding.

OnMobile and Cellebrum, along with peers such as One97 Communications (P) Ltd and Bharti Telesoft Ltd, have also lined up acquisitions during the year, which will lead to what could be dubbed the first phase of consolidation in a barely seven-year-old industry.
As this consolidation plays out over the next 12-18 months, the industry is expected to align along two clear lines—large, multi-services players and the next generation of niche start-ups.
The industry’s fast-track evolution is riding on the back of the country’s exploding mobile subscriber base—up from 108 million in July 2006 to 193 million now. Revenues from mobile VAS were Rs2,850 crore in 2006 and are projected to touch Rs4,650 crore this year-end. This includes revenues earned by VAS companies and telecom services operators, who share the revenue.
“At this stage, large players are looking to grow larger. Part of the capital raised through the IPO will fund acquisitions in the data space,” said Arvind Rao, CEO, OnMobile. Until three years ago, the Infosys Technologies Ltd-incubated start-up was chiefly focused on voice-based service offerings, such as interactive voice customer care and ringtones for telecom operators. Since then, it has diversified into data and is keen on next-generation applications, such as advertising and social networking. It has already pushed through one acquisition—ITFinity Solutions Pvt. Ltd last December—after it received $27.8 million in third-round funding from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Polygon Investment Partners.

Peer Cellebrum, backed by New Delhi-based MCorpGlobal, got $15 million as first- round funding from Lehman Brothers around the same time. “We are looking at acquisitions both in India and overseas,” said Saket Agarwal, COO, Cellebrum. It set up an incubation cell last year in which it seeded mobile social networking company MobiSoc.
A multi-services offering would imply a combination of managed platform services across voice, WAP (wireless access protocol, a way to access the Internet through mobile phones) and SMS (short messaging services), content development and syndication, mobile data and voice applications, and enterprise mobile solutions. Not all companies in this space currently offer all services. Even early movers such as OnMobile have chosen to stay out of content. Other players in the space include IMI Mobile Ltd, Mobile2win India Pvt. Ltd and People Infocom Pvt. Ltd (which operates under the brand name Mauj).
As the country’s mobile subscriber base continues to explode, telecom operators have begun to prefer a few mobile VAS players who can offer the full gamut of services. “Players are encroaching into each other’s areas to expand their offerings,” said Vijay Shekar Sharma, founder and CEO, One97 Communications. The company has mandated an investment banker to keep an eye on firms in mobile advertising, utilities, content and mobile commerce.

Revenue models are also changing. Earlier, players would charge a one-time fee to build a WAP or voice platform for the operator (telco), and charge a regular maintenance fee. However, that is changing into a revenue-share model, where the mobile VAS player collects a portion of the user-generated fee per download or transaction. Revenue share remains a bone of contention between the operator and the VAS player, as the former keeps the majority share, often 60% to 80%. VAS firms, though, hope this will change as the industry matures, as it has in other evolved mobile markets.

The entry of investors such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers in a relatively nascent space, such as mobile VAS, is also evidence of the sector maturing. Both are later stage, private equity investors and, significantly, have been marked for their pre-IPO deals in this market. “It is good for the industry to have exits through IPOs, as it sets a benchmark for those to follow,” said Sandeep Singhal, director, Nexus India Capital, which has invested in two mobile VAS start-ups—Mobile2win and Kirusa Inc. Most venture capitalists (VCs) active in the space seem to think that the funding cycle for multi-services players has ended. “We are now seeing companies in the next generation of applications,” said Kanwaljit Singh, managing director, Helion Venture Partners.

By: Namitha Jagadeesh; Source: August 28, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blogger is 8 today

You are 8 today
We (bloggers community, blog readers and all others)
Wish you and your great team (your pillar of success)
Whether we are near or far away
We are happy to wish you collectively
Wishing you to have many more creative and inspiring years’ ahead
May your pages; be filled with ingenious content
The very best to you and your team for all your future endeavours…

Graphic courtesy:

Mobile game providers chase big ad money

BANGALORE: Mobile games could soon have advertisers come on board. Cellebrum, the VAS arm of Delhi based M-Corp, plans to launch a mobile game which will give users an opportunity to win and advertisers a space to feature their products. The game is called ‘Fastest fingers first’ and is likely to hit the markets by the end of this month.
“Users have to type out a tagline of a company. Advertisers and service providers have shown great enthusiasm for this product. Many advertisers are keen to tie-up for this mobile game,” explains M-Corp Global president, sales and marketing, Paul Shoker. “Also for this text-based gaming no internet connectivity is required,” he adds.
Mobile advertising is catching up with most VAS players who are introducing new products to woo advertisers to get onboard. Worldwide, the mobile advertising market is worth $10 billion. “Games will be an important part of this. Nearly 20-60 developers are designing games. By 2010, it is expected that 30% of the advertising will be on the mobile and internet,” says Qualcomm India and SAARC manager, mobile content and applications, Rakesh Godhwani.
“It is fascinating to see the convergence of the television, mobiles and laptop screens. Whenever there has been a convergence of two screens, it has brought in huge revenues. Look at programmes like Indian Idol and Kaun Banega Crorepati that have received over 50 million SMSes,” adds Mr Godhwani.
However, while VAS players are looking at launching new products, service providers are wary of introducing advertisers into this fold. “It could be seen as intrusion—just like telemarketing calls and SMSes on service offers,” says Airtel Karnataka chief executive officer V Venkatesh. “Also, the mobile gaming market is really small in the country and we have to see how this market progresses. However, under circumstances that permission is allowed it could be an interesting model,” he adds. It’s not an easy choice but provided the money that advertisers can bring in, most operators will be game to the idea.
By: Sushmita Mohapatra; Source: The Economic Times

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Explore the power of 7

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey
A fabulous book (or I should rather say—guide…); for all those how want to make a positive difference in their life! 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a book that comes with step-by-step instructions to help you achieve each one of the life (both personal and professional) enhancing 7 habits listed. The first 3 three habits focus mainly on your personal life and the last four directed on professional growth. Covey emphasizes on the importance of first developing one’s personal habits and only then can positive professional habits can be cultivated.

Additionally you'll need to understand the "paradigm shift" a change in perception and analysis of how the world works in today’s scenario. This would help you change your outlook towards how you perceive time management, productivity, positive thinking and will assist you in developing "proactive muscles" … taking initiative rather than reacting.

1. Be Proactive
Focus is on being proactive—encouraging you to develop the ability to control your own environment rather than letting things control you. By being proactive you have higher success rate and will be able to complete projects/tasks efficiently.

2. Begin with the end in mind
Leadership is the underlying theme; Covey advice is to begin every project with the end result already acknowledged. That path to success in life lies in planning; concentrating on every step will help you avoid distractions and increase your productivity. Increase in quality of life is you gift for following this—as you now define your course and work towards a planned destination.

3. Put first thing first
Put first things first is a habit that works on personal management, in your personal life and at work. By organising and implementing activities in line with the goals that you have established, you spend time doing what fits into your personal mission. Therefore, you are able to observe the proper balance between production and building production capacity. Identify the key roles that you take on in life (both professionally and personally) and make time for each one.

4. Think Win-Win
All strive for—a win-win situation. This habit is the cornerstone of interpersonal leadership. Achievements are often dependent on cooperative efforts with others. In developing an organizational or personal culture, be sure to reward win-win behaviour among employees.

5. Seek first to understand and then to be understood
Communication is the mainstay of successful leadership. This habit positions that one should first seek to understand others and only expect to be understood—imperative principle of building great interpersonal relationships. Effective listening is simply listening empathetically for both feeling and meaning.

6. Synergize
Synergize is the place where the totality is greater than the sum. It is significant to learn how to see good in others contributions. With trustful communication, mutual trust and understanding one can find ways to leverage individual differences and create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

7. Sharpen the saw
The solution to a successful personal and professional life is through continuous improvement throughout. This concept is the core of the seventh habit. To adapt this habit successfully in life, one must first find the balance between actually producing and improving your capabilities to produce.

Stephen is a believer and advocate of positive individuals and that mostly effective people shape their own future. Instead of letting other people or circumstances determine their destiny, they mentally plan and then physically create their own positive results. The habits are intricate; with step-by-step instructions to help you achieve each one. What is essential is to adopt the habits in complete honesty…you will have to buy the book if you are interested in learning more, or you can also visit for any additional information. I refer to it time and again…I’m sure you will too!