OnMobile appoints new CEO, posts huge loss



OnMobile Global, the Bangalore-based provider of telecom value-added services (VAS), has appointed Rajiv Pancholy as CEO. This follows co-founder Mouli Raman’s resignation as CEO announced earlier this month.

Pancholy, an IIT-Delhi alumnus, is a telecom industry veteran, with over three decades of experience in a variety of roles. He was president and COO of Canada’s fourth largest national wireless operator, Microcell Connexions. He was also part of several smaller telecom ventures, and most recently had founded his own company TTP Media that had obtained licenses for the launch of new commercial radio stations in Montreal.

Pancholy said OnMobile was a company that had “a leadership posture in the industry, is rich in talent and a preferred partner of some of the world’s most prominent mobile operators”.

HH Haight, chairman of OnMobile, said, “Rajiv is a great leader and has done some outstanding work in the telecommunications domain. His reputation for spearheading successful businesses precedes him and I am confident that his strong governance skills will stand us in good stead.”

OnMobile also announced the results for the fourth quarter ended March, showing a significant net loss of Rs 139.2 crore for the group as a whole, compared to a net profit of Rs 10.8 crore in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was Rs 225.1 crore, an increase of 22.3%. For the full year 2013-14, net loss was Rs 132 crore, and revenue was Rs 865.3 crore, up 19.3%.

The net loss was on account of exceptional items totaling Rs 119.5 crore, and forex loss of Rs 16.1 crore. One exceptional item was the writing down of the goodwill associated with the acquisition of Telisma from the balance sheet, resulting in a total non-cash impairment charge of Rs 68 crore. “Telisma, a market leader in speech recognition, was acquired in 2008. This acquisition enabled the company to win new customers in emerging markets. However, recently the market outlook for core products in its target markets has deteriorated and hence has resulted in impairment ,” the company said.

Another exceptional item was the Rs 35.4 crore IP-violation settlement with US-based Synchronoss. Synchronoss had filed a suit against OnMobile and two of its group entities, OnMobile USA and Voxmobili France (a company that OnMobile had acquired), alleging that some Voxmobili synchronization products infringed their patents.

OnMobile was spun out of Infosys in 2000, with Infosys holding a significant stake in the company. Infosys has since divested from the company. The largest shareholder now is US venture capital firm Argo Global. It is a pioneer in the mobile value added services space.

Filed in: Computer Hardware, News, Technology News

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