The importance of local knowledge and working with partners is key to doing business and nowhere more so than in Asia where MEF's Hong Kong-based chapter was established in 2005 to help bridge the gap between East and West.
MEF Asia's official event for 2005 and 2006, MeM Asia - run in association with Informa - has become an important gathering for players across Asia and the world to meet and do business. In 2007 and beyond, MEF Asia will continue to host an annual event bringing the ‘e’ to mobile entertainment whilst enabling all constituents to build new relationships and address vital industry issues.
MEF Asia is also the ‘mobile entertainment evangelist’ to Asia leading mobile and entertainment-related events including Casbaa, ComunicAsia, FICCI Frames, iMobicon and Music Matters. Based on the chapter’s successfully tailored networking events “where mobile meets entertainment”, as witnessed during the ITU World Congress and 3G Mobility Marketplace, MEF Asia will continue to underwrite such events and work with key strategic partners.
In 2006, MEF Asia provided leadership and guidance in establishing Charged, a publication about the business and lifestyle of mobile in Asia, and will continue to play an advisory role. Thanks to the chapter’s involvement this magazine is now distributed to 25,000 key industry executives across Asia.
At the November 2006 annual general meeting in Singapore, the MEF Asia chapter expanded its Board. The existing board directors from Sun Microsystems, Sony BMG, Hungama, Streamezzo, and VeriSign were joined by industry heavyweights from Warner Brothers Entertainment, WiderThan and Dada Mobile. The Board now represents key Asia markets and provides thought-leadership covering China, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Korea and Singapore markets.
26th February, 2010, Singapore New Asia Board based in Singapore, Malaysia, India and China set to help accelerate industry growth and drive competitive advantage for members. Appointed to a two year term and consists of industry leaders throughout Asia with expertise spanning the mobile, media, entertainment and services industries.
MEF Asia General Manager
MEF Asia General Manager
Linda was appointed to the role of GM MEF Asia in January 2010. Linda has been based in Asia for 10 years and has extensive international and cross cultural business experience, having worked on managerial and consultancy projects throughout Asia Pacific.
With an entrepreneurial background, Linda established her own Public Relations and Event Management Company in Singapore in 2005 and has built the business up to be a successful boutique PR Company supporting companies expanding into the ASEAN market using Singapore as strategic hub.
Previous roles include working for the Australian Government, Public Relations Consultant for the Marriott Group in Vietnam, reporter for Vietnam News and Time Out Magazine and editor-in-chief of an entrepreneurial start up magazine in Asia. Linda brings to MEF an extensive Asia Pacific network, regional sales, sponsorship and business development experience in Asia Pacific and expertise in high profile regional events.
Linda has experience with not for profits in Australia and Vietnam and previously spent a year as a volunteer in a children’s charity in Vietnam. She is a board member of two non for profits: the International Federation of Women in Commerce and Industry, (a business mentoring programme for women entrepreneurs) and an environmental organisation: Hemisphere Foundation.
MEF Asia Board of Directors
MEF Asia Chair
Managing Director & CEO
Since completing his business studies in 1990, Neeraj has had extensive experience in Services Marketing. In 1999 he founded Virtual Marketing, owners of popular portals such as Hungama.com, IndiaFM.com (the number 1 Bollywood portal in the world) and Hungama Mobile. Hungama has been associated with over 500 Bollywood and Hollywood movies and has undertaken more than 1,000 digital and mobile marketing campaigns for hundreds of leading brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, McDonalds and Nike. Neeraj’s company is the largest aggregator, developer and publisher of Bollywood & South Asian entertainment content in the world, having worldwide exclusive rights to over 35,000 music and video titles, distributing the same across 20 countries. Hungama Mobile works directly with 85% of the studios and music companies producing Bollywood content.
Neeraj is actively associated with the Film & TV Producers Guild of India and CII’s Entertainment Committee. Neeraj loves movies, listening to music and enjoys playing golf.
MEF Asia Vice-Chair
Co-Founder & Executive VP i-POP Networks
Colin is co founder of i-POP, a Mobile Service Provider with direct offices (and 45 staff) across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, He has worked on expanding regional mobile entertainment and billing services for seven years. His focus has been the development of viable revenue generating premium content services for the region's largest broadcasters namely ESPN STAR Sports, MTV Asia and BloombergTV amongst others.
More recently he has been evolving new VAS-based content channels for Operators such as Telkomsel, AIS and Viettel. i-POP itself champions "marketing through content" in 19 countries across Asia. The company focus for 2009 is to integrate more ad-supported mobile services for major brands.
Colin has witnessed rapid and difficult industry changes in 2008, with the push to True Number Portability (TNP) in Singapore and Malaysia – a cost which is borne by Service providers, mobile content subscription mechanism changes; and the dramatic rise in MNO licenses in India and Indonesia.
Operation Relations Manager
Ben Chong joined Silverstreet BV in September 2010 as Operator Relations Manager and based at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia offices which Silverstreet recently opened. Ben tasks is to develop services for Mobile operators, in order to put Silverstreet a step up in the Mobile Messaging value chain, by providing smart messaging solutions and portals. Ben holds a Bachelor of Degree (Hons) in Electronics and Communications Engineering from University of Northumbria at United Kingdom and a Master in Business Administration from Nottingham Trent University. He has 13 years of experience in telecommunications industry and was involved in GSMA SMS hubbing project in London. Ben is pursuing his Doctorate of Business Administration and specialized in telecommunications industry research. He has been involved in various consultancy research topics such as Mobile Number Portability, Service Innovation and Mobile ARPU, Customer Behavior and Strategic Business Diversification.
Vice President Product Management
Sudarshan Dharmapuri, based in Hyderabad, is responsible for Product Management function at IMImobile.
Prior to joining IMImobile in April 2008, Sudarshan held key positions in both Engineering and Product Marketing at Siebel Systems and Oracle in Silicon Valley, California. During his 9+ years there, he brought several successful new products to market, led partnership initiatives with 3rd party technology vendors and championed customer adoption of key products.
Sudarshan holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley, a MS in Computer Science from The University of Memphis, Tennessee and a BE in Information Science & Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore University.
Head of KPMG Centre of Excellence for Comms
David has been working as an advisor to many of the world’s leading mobile, media and broadband service providers for nearly 20 years. His areas of expertise include business planning and the alignment of strategy, operations and IT for telecommunications, mobile content and media companies. At KPMG, David sits on the Global Transformation Management council, a body identified to provide services to leading global clients seeking to enter new markets and capitalize on the emergence of new technologies with innovative content and services. David has also served as an advisor to government bodies in Asia and North America with oversight responsibilities for the media and mobile communications industries. Prior to joining KPMG in Beijing, David was a Managing Director with a global management and technology consultancy leading teams in the US and Asia Pacific, and in strategic planning and finance with a global telecommunications company. Prior to these roles he worked with the OECD in Paris and was on the personal staff of a US.
Vice-President International Business Development
Faissal leads Paymo’s Business Development activities in Asia. Paymo connects online merchants with the world’s 3+ billion mobile phone users, enabling purchases of digital content and services to be charged to the mobile phone bill.
Faissal believes that building a solid foundation of active members in MEF Asia will benefit everyone. With more committed members, there is a greater potential to share valuable expertise and resource amongst all MEF members and to deliver on impactful initiatives that contribute to the growth of the whole industry. Thus, Faissal intends to keep contributing strongly to the growth of the MEF organization in Asia to the benefit of all current and future MEF members.
A French Native, MBA from Grenoble Ecole de Management, Faissal speaks fluently French, Spanish, English and has more than 13 year solid experience in Mobile VAS Business across most continents (Europe, Middle-East, Africa, Latin America, Asia), in senior sales management positions at Gemplus , Atchik-Realtime and mBlox.
Faissal has been a MEF Asia Board Director since 2007, responsible for advancing MEF’s membership growth in Asia and engaging key members such as Maxis, Interchan, Radius and Netbiscuits.
Mike Kofi Okyere
Head of Performance Advertising, APAC-South
As Head of Performance Advertising, APAC-South, for AdMob, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile advertising networks, Mike is responsible for strategies that drive strong returns on investment for premium advertisers in various mobile content fields. He also handles business development in the region, identifying and executing on monetization opportunities among mobile publishers.
Prior to joining AdMob, Mike was Senior Technical Manager for Asia Pacific at Netbiscuits, one of the world’s leading B2B web software platforms for the creation of mobile portals. In this role he led the portal conceptualization phase and managed the development life cycle for premium media companies and agencies, such as MTV, Sensis, Yahoo!, Enterprise, MediaPrima and AKQA.
Managing Director, APAC
Joerg is the Managiung Director for the APAC region and as such responsible for developing the Asia Pacific market for Netbiscuits. In this role, Joerg oversees the strategy development for the group’s Asian endeavours as well as the operational sales activities. Joerg has over 14 years of experience in business development, marketing and consulting, most of which have been in the Internet, Media and Telecommunication industries. Joerg has also spent over 11 years in various parts of Asia, including Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong and is higly connected in the Telecommunications and Internet ecosphere in the region.
Earlier in his career, Joerg accepted a Singapore posting in 1996 in an industrial group, after which he joined a strategy consulting firm in Hamburg. Joerg then returned to Singapore in 1999 to establish the Asian Branch office and act as Managing Director for the CANBOX Technologies regional group office. In this capacity, he was responsible for the strategic and operational market development for the Asia Pacific region as well as establishing the complex technical infrastructure required to provide Unified Messaging services. In 2001, Joerg returned to Europe to consult in the Telecommunications sector and has conducted various projects for mobile and wire line carriers, network operators as well as industry vendors. Keen to move back to business development responsibilities in Asia, he left the consulting industry in 2007 and joined Netbiscuits to open their office in Singapore.
He is an active speaker at Internet, Media and Telecom conferences and is a member of the Board of the Asia Chapter of the Mobile Entertainment Forum.
Joerg is a native of Germany and has earned a post-graduate degree of Business Administration from the University of Berlin. In his free time, Joerg likes to improve his below-par Golf swing, prepare and enjoy culinary delights and drive his Motorcycle. He lives in Singapore with his wife and two daughters.
President Corporate Services
Tata Teleservices Ltd., India
Pankaj holds responsibility for Corporate Strategy and Business Excellence at Tata Teleservices.
He is also responsible for Value Added Services, their strategic direction and revenue growth.
In his corporate role, he leads strategic direction in key areas of 3G evolution, Rural Business Models and GSM- CDMA market segmentation, working with internal strategy team and external business consultants.
His role in Business Excellence, drives benchmarked improvement in Customer Service, Business Processes and Market Planning.
He continues to lead VAS teams in developing the emergent VAS areas of m- commerce,mobile advertising and mobile 2.0 services.
He is passionately involved with Value Added services, which he has created from inception at Tata Teleservices and established as a growing contributor to company revenues.
Unique creations in VAS include a Mobile Internet solution for the masses (developed along with Opera) and a comprehensive interactive Mobile Advertising platform.
Pankaj has been with Tata Teleservices for over 4 years.
He brings with him a decade of marketing experience with FMCG companies and brands such as Levers, Brooke Bond, Johnson and Johnson and Richardson Vicks.
Prior to joining Tata Telservices, he has worked extensively in media companies in Television (Nimbus Communications), Films ( Mukta Arts) and Internet (Microland).
An MBA from Indian Institute of Management -Ahmedabad, he holds a graduate degree in Physics, from Delhi University.
He is an active speaker and participant in key industry forums and a Director on the Asia Board of Mobile Entertainment Forum.
Senior GM/Head of Product & Infotainment Business
Maxis Communications Berhad
Kugan has an extensive 18 years’ experience in the Telecommunication Industry and has held many international roles including representing Ericsson (in Sweden, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, India, and Japan) and currently heads the Products and Infotainment Business in Maxis. As a pioneer in the Telecommunication space, Kugan has driven the non-voice revenue in Maxis towards 33% of mobile revenue making Maxis amongst the top 20 global data players. With a strong combination of Technical, Commercial, Marketing and Media focus, the vision is to drive the non voice business towards 50% of mobile revenue with a strong focus in the content business supported by growth in Horizon 3 business such as Mobile Advertising, TV and Commerce.
In addition Kugan is currently a board member within the Bridge Alliance which represents the largest alliance in Asia with over 300 million subscribers.