MEF launched its newest chapter in Paris back in November 2006, with an event themed around ad-funded mobile entertainment.
The first board elections were held in February 2007, following which the chapter championed vital areas of European policy, responding to EU consultations on key issues such as child safety and content online, and also produced a members’ practical guide to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
In 2008, the chapter’s remit was extended to cover the Middle East and Africa regions and a newly expanded MEF EMEA board was elected during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The board is committed to creating local trade development opportunities for members; providing exclusive regional market insight and data; and advising members on legislative issues affecting their businesses.
MEF EMEA Team
MEF EMEA General Manager
Sarah began working for MEF as their Music & Communications Advisor in 2004. Her first project was planning the launch of the official ringtone chart, where she leveraged her industry insight and knowledge to attract significant media coverage and help build legitimacy for the mobile entertainment sector. Other assignments have included the launch of a German ringtone chart, devising a comprehensive chart strategy, as well as providing issues-based editorial and marketing support for MEF initiatives. In April 2006, Sarah was appointed PR Director with responsibility for setting and overseeing MEF's PR strategy. In 2007, Sarah was promoted to the role of MEF Europe General Manager, which was subsequently expanded to encompass the EMEA region.
Starting out with a degree in French, German & Financial Economics, Sarah went on to train as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse. After qualifying, it seemed a natural progression to work in the record industry where Sarah spent 8 years with the BPI (trade association for UK record labels) heading up their PR & Event activities in the UK and abroad.
Sarah has also freelanced as a PR Manager for BT Retail, implementing their PR & Comms strategy in the London region and in 2004, co-managed the PR for London's music & fashion festival 'City Showcase'.
Member Relations and Marketing, ME
George joined MEF in September 2010 as part of the Member Relations & Marketing team (Middle East region).
Fluent in French, English and Arabic and with a BSc in Computer Science from the American University of Beirut, George has previously worked as a software developer in Lebanon and, prior to MEF, was employed as Sales & Recruitment Manager for R&S Petroleum Services in Qatar.
Based in Doha, his role is to focus on liaising with local members, organising regional activities, pushing for the localisation of initiatives as well as recruitment and sponsorship.
MEF EMEA Board of Directors
MEF EMEA Chair
Content Services Director
As Director of Content Services, Lee is responsible for Vodafone's global content services portfolio, including search, portal, applications shop, music and games as well as developer engagement activities.
Lee is an industry executive with over twenty years experience in the technology sector and was Vice President of Forum Nokia from 2003-2008, Nokia's global developer support community. In this role, Lee was responsible for driving the business connections between Nokia and more than 3.5 million registered Forum Nokia software developers, mobile network operators, content aggregators, media companies and enterprises.
Prior to joining Nokia, she worked in Silicon Valley for 15 years and was part of the early team at Palm Computing and Handspring who delivered one of the first smartphones to the market, the Treo.
With a deep engagement in the developer community, media industry, as well as her work with many of the world’s largest OEM and Telecommunications companies, Lee is well positioned to help connect partners worldwide and evolve the MEF membership community, ensuring that MEF is addressing the timeliest topics for its members in this dynamic industry.
MEF EMEA Co-Vice Chair
Head of Mobile Content Solutions
An illustrious history in music and broadcast technology has paved the way for JJ’s career having managed interactive product development for Paul Allen at Interval Research, developed Playstation games, and prior to that, directing R&D at Drawmer.
Before joining Dolby, JJ held various strategic decision-making positions at Orange for 8 years. As head of enhanced multimedia product development he created award-winning multimedia technologies, bringing successes with Fireplayer (Winner: Digital Music Awards), Music Player (Voted best mobile app 2005), Orange TV and other mobile content channels. JJ also created Ananova – the world’s first virtual newscaster; holding worldwide patents. Ananova offered a broad knowledge in delivering great real-time user experiences to world-wide audiences.
Early recognition for his multifaceted talents came when he started engineering nascent drum machine synthesisers, the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams…” utilising his technology in 1983.
Dolby has been traditionally linked to entertainment for over 40 years and is committed to providing a more immersive experience to mobile entertainment consumers. Many of Dolby’s partners will also be partners of MEF member companies, even if their brand is more traditionally from Broadcast, Cinema and other mainstream entertainment. In a converged world, it is important to strengthen these ties as we move towards the mobile High Definition experience in mobile sound and vision.
MEF EMEA Co-Vice Chair
Head of Group Product Development
Colin is Group Director of Innovations at the Qtel Group. Colin provides the leadership and strategy to drive Product Innovations across the Group's operations in 17 markets spanning the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, with a total customer base of 67M+.
Colin is also the Vice Chairman for Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) on its EMEA Board of Directors. Through the co-founding of the MEF Middle East office, Colin is supporting the fostering of mobile innovation in the MENA markets.
With over 16 years of industry experience, Colin has held senior management positions across telecom and new media sectors in Asia. He has successful track records in managing the development and marketing of new products, and establishing global strategic partnerships with major brands and ecosystem partners around the world.
In addition to building the Advanced Mobile Service division for both Sunday and New World Mobility in Hong Kong, Colin has also worked extensively with digital media companies, banks, and online start-ups to implement their mobile strategies.
Colin was awarded a PhD in Business at the City University of Hong Kong with an IS research focus on Mobile Commerce. Colin also holds an MBA degree from Simon Fraser University, Canada.
Director Digital Expansion
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Jiella Esmat recently joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment after 6 years with Paramount Pictures. Jiella played a pivotal role in building Paramount’s Digital EMEA business from inception in 2006 and successfully negotiated, delivered and managed global accounts including Sony Ericsson, Samsung, PlayStation and Xbox. Her current responsibility at Sony is to leverage content across digital distribution platforms, including online, wireless and portable devices. Jiella’s role is to conceptualise, establish and monetise opportunities that drive the uptake of digital film consumption through collaborations with cutting edge technology partners.
Jiella has an ability to deliver far reaching sales and marketing campaigns, and uses her unique insight and backing of a major content provider with a global footprint to help drive the strategy of MEF and its partners and members. Jiella is working with MEF on digital business models and evolving a multi-platform strategy to bring rich entertainment offerings to mobile connected devices.
Christian de Faria
Senior VP, Commercial & Innovation
Christian is well known in the industry, having previously served MTN as Vice President for West & Central Africa. Prior to joining the MTN Group in 2006, Christian was CEO of PT Excelcomindo Pratama, known as XL, the largest mobile operator in Indonesia and before that he was CEO of Telekom Malaysia.
Having spent many years working in the mobile telephony sector, Christian’s knowledge around “Go to Market” strategies and creating value propositions targeted to specific segments brings insight and operational knowledge which can be leveraged by new and existing MEF members. He has impeccable emerging market insights from different parts of the world, whether it is in Africa’s most populous nation of Nigeria or Indonesia, one of the dynamic markets to watch in the next decade.
As Senior VP for Commercial, Christian is also responsible for MTN Group’s new product development and innovation activities. He is committed to increase the MEF membership base, drive MEF’s strategic agenda items and share innovation ideas to transform the mobile space for the future.
CEO & Founder
Barry entered the mobile industry in 1999 and has worked for companies including EMAP McClaren, Genie Mobile and O2’s Mobile Interactive Division, initiating big mobile interactive partnerships for landmark interactive events.
Barry founded Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) in May 2004. Demonstrating entrepreneurial spirit, Barry won Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year, London Region, Nov 06 and in 2008 MIG ranked No.1 in the media momentum awards, securing the title of fastest growing digital media company in the UK and ranked No.1 in the Microsoft Sunday Times Tech Track fastest growing privately owned Technology Company in the UK.
Over the past few years Barry has overseen the launch of five new businesses within MIG; mobile advertising agency 4th Screen Advertising, creative digital agency Jigsaw, M-commerce, messaging solutions and interactive platforms business Mobile Interactive Technology, mobile Internet publishing business Kilrush and mobile interactive agency New Toy. Integration and collaboration within the group has proven to be a recipe for success, enabling MIG to create leadership in certain markets such as media, broadcast, and with mobile network operators.
Since 1995 Emma has honed her skills in the fields of animation and entertainment and, in the past two years, in mobility and new media.
Before setting out to giving sustainable business direction to an African brand in new media for the mobile screen, Emma did much the same for African animation and entertainment. Her credentials as co-founder of Triggerfish Animation (leading animation company), AnimationXchange (the largest grassroots forum for content creators), AnimationSA.org (the official animation organization), and the first animation festival in Africa, stand out.
Recently, her experience has catapulted her into the field of new media; first as CEO of Breakdesign, and currently as founder and CEO of Gate7, a mobile media, entertainment and content company.
Emma has a plethora of contacts and wealth of entertainment experience in Africa and is currently driving key projects and initiatives including Mobfest 2008, Africa’s first made-for-mobile festival. Mobfest aims to facilitate the successful expansion, consumption and creation of premium mobile content in this exciting emerging mobile entertainment market.
VP & MD Europe & Middle East
Rob joined InMobi in December 2009 as Vice President and Managing Director, responsible for building InMobi's business across Europe and the Middle East. He brings with him a deep understanding of the complexities of the market as well as experience building and scaling digital advertising businesses in the region.
With access to an in-house research team, Rob is in a postion to leverage InMobi’s global network of 179 million consumers in 115 countries and provide research and consumer insights to MEF. This data capability can be leveraged in every major country in the world.
Before joining InMobi, Rob worked at Google as Director of Strategic Partnerships for EMEA where he managed some of Google’s largest commercial relationships in the region. Prior to Google, he was part of Yahoo!, having joined through the acquisition of Overture Europe (formerly GoTo.com). Rob is a graduate of Oxford University and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Global Head of Marketing
In 2011 Lucia Predolin celebrates her 10th year in Mobile Entertainment, having worked in mobile content during a decade of progress. She possesses multi-territory and multi-business expertise, as well as a relentless passion for an industry adopting new business models and ever more engaging consumer experiences as it continues to grow.
Prior to joining Buongiorno in 2001, Lucia gained international marketing expertise with Saatchi & Saatchi. In 2001 she was chosen to join the team of Buongiorno entrepreneurs launching the Premium SMS business in Italy with TIM and Spain with MyAlert. In the last 10 years Lucia has expanded her expertise in several innovative divisions within Buongiorno: Mobile advertising, Mobile Payments and Mobile Web Applications.
Lucia has also promoted a healthy dialogue amongst content providers, industry players, Government Regulatory bodies and consumer protection agencies. She has worked actively with AESAm (Spain), Assocscp (Italy), FSt (Germany), BetterBusinessBureau (US) and TeachToday at European level.
Lucia has been a driving figure of the mobile industry in Europe. She brings diverse experience across the value chain to help MEF shape the evolution of Mobile Entertainment as mobile becomes the dominant connecting device and media centre of our lives.
Javier Lorente Martínez
Head of Customer User Interface, Mobile Data Group
Javier has worked in Mobile Data for the last 12 years, gathering experience in both network and Value Added Services enabling delivery of mobile content. He has been involved in Mobile Internet since the early stages of pre-WAP technology and was responsible for Emoción (Content Portal of MoviStar) from 2000-2009. His role in Telefónica has given him experience in the different markets/regions and with the key players across all Mobile Content Delivery ecosystems.
Currently part of MDG, the Telefónica Competence Center for Content and Services, with a worldwide reach, Javier is involved in various projects including the new User Experience for delivering applications and services for all markets.
He brings to MEF knowledge of the value chain and a huge experience on service definition and deployment. The developers and different stakeholders require more standardization and more tools for the business, creating APIs and interfaces that reduce the cost and increase the quality of service and offering for customers. The ultimate goals are: bringing a seamless experience to different screens; monetizing the existing services in new ways; looking for new enablers and their standard definition; and improving the user experience.
Executive VP, Corporate Strategy & Strategic Marketing
Raghu is tasked with overall strategy for du, leading business development and partnerships, and providing strategic direction for marketing activities. Du is the second network operator in the UAE with a full quad-play license. Du now has more than 1.5 million mobile subscribers in just 10 months of operation.
Prior to joining du, Raghu was the Director of Commercial Strategy & Assurance for Orange UK. Here he worked on establishing commercial relationships to secure mobile content and applications with music and media providers such as Lucasfilms, Universal, Sony BMG and web majors such as MSN and Yahoo.
His career extends from Fortune 500 IT companies in France, Scotland and the US to mobile operators in Taiwan, Egypt and Europe. Raghu has spent four years in senior executive positions with MobiNil, in Egypt. Prior to this, he was a strategy consultant at Gemini Consulting working on their C4 convergence practice.
Raghu believes that it will take innovation, stamina and local know-how to build the appetite for the next generation of mobile and web services, and partnerships and collaboration to build a new ecosystem of players in the region.