Monday, May 19, 2008

Cellebrum appoints Saket Agarwal as CEO

By VARIndia Correspondent
In continuation of its focus to lead innovations in the Global Telecom Eco-system, Cellebrum - Asia's leading value-added-services and solutions provider from Spice Group has appointed Saket Agarwal as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect. He has been promoted from his former role as a Chief Operating Officer (COO) with Cellebrum. In his new role, Agarwal will be responsible for overseeing the operations of Cellebrum and lead it to become a global giant providing innovative services to the end-consumers.

Prior to leading Cellebrum, Agarwal has held various senior level positions in Spice Group. He was amongst the senior management members at Spice Communications, a leading service provider in the states of Punjab and Karnataka for over six years. Agarwal has led the task of building "Telecom Products & Services Competency Centre" leading to creation of the most valuable and enduring venture in Value-added-services (VAS). Cellebrum is the brainchild of Agarwal, who had foreseen the need for a standalone unit for developing and deploying VAS services. Under his leadership, Cellebrum has turned into an industry leader in a short span of four years.


Saket Agarwal Appointed CEO of Cellebrum

By Nikhil Pahwa
Sunday, 18 May 2008

Saket Agarwal has been made the CEO of Spice group company Spice Mobile VAS/Cellebrum, reports EFY Times. A fairly significant player in the Cellebrum ranks, Agarwal was the COO of the company prior to the promotion. As per Cellebrum’s website, he’s been in the telecom field for over 15 years, and “has done his Electronics Engineering & Masters (Honours) in Physics from BITS Pilani”. Agarwal blogs here.

Cellebrum had planned for an IPO last fiscal, and that was apparently shelved. The company is backed MCorpGlobal (of the BK Modi Group), and received $15 million as first- round funding from Lehman Brothers. Readers should bear in mind that BK Modi is acquiring 32 percents take in Multi Screen Media (formerly known as Sony (NYSE: SNE) Entertainment Television), and the deal might help Cellebrum get access to SET content. But it’ll take time for any deal to come through (since the stake sale hasn’t been completed yet), so don’t hold your breath. Cellebrum also has a joint venture with Malaysian co MNC Wireless BHD, and together they’re entering the mobile advertising business.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saket Agarwal to Lead Cellebrum

Cellebrum has promoted COO Saket Agarwal to the position of CEO

Thursday, May 15, 2008: Cellebrum, a value added services and solutions provider from Spice Group, has appointed Saket Agarwal as the chief executive officer with immediate effect. Formerly the COO of the company, Agarwal, in his new role, will lead the company and will be responsible for overseeing the operations of Cellebrum. Prior to leading Cellebrum, Agarwal has held various senior level positions in Spice Group.
He was amongst the senior management members at Spice Communications. He has led the task of building 'telecom products and services competency centre'.

An alumnus from BITS, Pilani with a master’s degree (Hons.) in Physics from the same institute, Agarwal hones people and leadership skills with various business programmes from IGNOU, XLRI and IIM.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MNC moves into mobile advertising


KUALA LUMPUR: MNC Wireless Bhd is expanding its business into mobile advertising with the setting up soon of a digital media unit, Digital Kung Fu Sdn Bhd.
Chief executive officer Jasmine Lee said the new company would use the digital media format. “The change in our business model from being just a mobile value-added services provider is important to stay competitive and relevant,” she told StarBiz. It was also planning to open a similar company in Singapore this year, Lee said. She added that MNC was combining its efforts with its joint-venture partner India's Cellebrum.Com Ltd, a subsidiary of Spice Corp Ltd, to develop contents for mobile advertising.

“Mobile advertising is said to be the next big area for the Malaysian and Indian markets as it is still under-developed, unlike Internet advertising which is now more established,” Lee said. On its partner, Lee said Cellebrum was a leading provider of mobile value-added services and solutions to major telecom players and corporations such as Airtel and Vodafone.

Telekom Malaysia Bhd has a 39.2% stake in Spice Telecom, which is a flagship company of the Spice Group, one of the largest business conglomerates in India. MNC would be the sole distributor of Cellebrum's mobile platforms, applications, content and services within the country, while expanding its offerings of value-added services, mobile solutions and applications to the Indian market with an estimated 250 million mobile phone users.

MNC also plans to launch Elven Legends, which is a massive multi-player online real-time game targeted at the youth market, by the third quarter. “We are testing the product with a few mobile operators in Malaysia and Singapore, besides Telenor of Norway,” Lee said. It plans to launch the product in Saudi Arabia and China this year.

MNC reported a net loss of RM1.35mil on turnover of RM8.95mil for the financial year ended Dec 31 (FY07) compared with a net loss of RM1.68mil on turnover of RM9.85mil in FY06. The poor performance was due to the slowdown in the business tied to the mobile application industry, Lee said. She expects the company to return to the black in FY08, driven by its foray overseas and the launch of its new product.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sony Entertainment Television Sells 32 Pc Stake to BK Modi for $320 Million

By Nikhil Pahwa; Sunday 11 May 2008

Multi Screen Media, the company formerly known as Sony (NYSE: SNE) Entertainment Television, has sold 32 percent stake to the BK Modi group for $320 million, report Variety and NDTV. The acquisition is through Modi’s company MCorp Global. MSM hasn’t confirmed the deal, although sources have.

Some details on MSM: The Deal: Around 32 percent for $320 million, expected to be closed in June. The company is valued at $1 billion [NDTV]. The 2007-08 Fiscal: reportedly ended the fiscal with a loss of $50 million, with a debt of $71 million, and another Rs. 100-120 crores in the balance (income tax case for SET Singapore). However, the recent success of the Indian Premier League (they acquired rights for 5 years for $918 million) augurs well for them, but what happens to the ratings when the floodlights aren’t on? Shareholders: Sony owns around 60 percent in MSM, with Capital Intl owns 8 percent, and now MCorp Global owns around 32 percent. Indian shareholders get an exit: There several instances of the companys Indian shareholders looking for an exit, and it appears they have now finally got it: Shemaroo Entertainment MD Raman Maroo, World Media Group director Sudesh Iyer, MobiApps Holding’s Jayesh Paresh and actor Jackie Shroff are among the Indian investors. Investment vehicles Atlas Equifin and Grandway Global Holdings held around 31.67 percent stake. A Compromise offer> Sony had offered $200 million for the Indian investors stake, who had wanted $400 million (Variety). MCorp’s offer looks like a compromise solution. The Properties: includes the channels SET India, SET Max, Sab TV, SET Pix and AXN and Animax India.

Implications: most importantly, an end to the issues with the shareholders who have exited will (hopefully) make Sony more fleet-footed. The BK Modi association brings in synergies with his Telecom business (Spice Telecom and Cellebrum) - the mobile connection might make MSM more “MultiScreen” than they currently are. For Modi, he gets an entry into the media and entertainment business...the Spice group has a few multiplexes and is into film production as well.

Source: contentSutra