Malaysia’s Astro All Asia Networks Plc has entered the Indian digital media space with the acquisition of 50 percent stake in Mogae Consultants, the Economic Times reports. 

Mogae does appear to have significant backing: it’s owned by Sandeep Goyal and Tanya Goyal. It is a joint venture partner of Japanese ad conglomerate Dentsu, runs three centres in the country, and has clients such as Toyota, Honda, Canon, Raymond, Thomas Cook and FedEx. Frankly, we’ve not heard about Mogae Digital before, and couldn’t locate their website; is under construction. Here’s a related story on another joint venture the group has inked – Retail Radio.

Reports on the deal are conflicting: while ET has reported that the 50% stake has been acquired for $5 million, exchange4media reports that Astro plans to  invest up to $5 million in the venture; there is no official communique from the company. The money will be used to fund the launch of a mobile social networking portal and a local search engine sometime this year.

Local search sites in India are aplenty. How will Mogae’s site fare next to ones by giants MSN, Yahoo and Google, and the dozen smaller others that have cropped up recently with their own unique flavours?

Astro Group operates in in varied industries including DTH , commercial radio, TV content, lifestyle and animation publications. It is owned by reclusive billionaire T Ananda Krishnan as well as the Usaha Tegas Group (42.7%) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (21.6%).

(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)