OnMobile Global has said that Arvind Rao, the companys co-founder, CEO and MD, will be focusing on international markets only, while a committee comprising of Board Chairman H.H. Haight and Audit Committee Chairman Naresh Malhotra will “oversee the affairs of the Company.” The company has just made this announcement to the stock exchanges. MediaNama had written to Haight earlier today to confirm this development, among a few others. Rao and his co-founder Mouli Raman did not respond to calls. Harit Nagpal, an independent director with the company, had declined to comment and asked us to contact Haight.
While the boards statement says that Rao’s focus will be on building the international base of the company, this does still appear as if his role as CEO and MD of OnMobile has been limited in comparison with that it was earlier, particularly since a team from the board is looking into the companys affairs, and they haven’t waited till, say, a country manager for India, is appointed. The change in mandate, according to the company’s statement, will “free up his (Rao’s) time to focus on this global activity, investor relations, strategy and strategic projects.”
International business is increasingly emerging as the most important segment for OnMobile, given that it now accounts for almost 50% of its business, and with both the growth in the companys Telefonica business in South America and the risk of a decline in the India MVAS market, it is likely that the international business will become the main contributor to the companys revenues. Over the last year or so, OnMobile’s sale of stake in Ver Se Innovations has contributed significantly to the companys financial performance.
The change in Rao’s role comes almost six months after Haight replaced Rao as the Chairman of the board of Directors. A few days ago, OnMobile’s CFO Amit Rastogi resigned from the company, and this was just a few months after Rajesh Moorti, the CFO who had taken the company public, had put in his papers.
Speaking with MediaNama, Sanjay Uppal, President & COO of OnMobile denied that has resigned from the company. He is currently operating out the US, looking at international business. Multiple sources within OnMobile have informed us that its Co-Founder and CTO Mouli Raman has been on extended leave for a while now. Raman has not taken our calls and we’ve requested Haight for a clarification on his status in the company. We’ll update when we have more.
The statement that OnMobile has made to the stock exchanges:
OnMobile Global Ltd has informed BSE that in furtherance of the OnMobile 2020 global strategy, OnMobile, a global leader in mobile VAS announced that Mr. Arvind Rao, the current Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of OnMobile will focus on international growth and market strategy and building relationships with large global customer accounts around the world. In addition he will increasingly focus on new product direction and strategy and the future product roadmaps of OnMobile around the world. OnMobile has over the recent few years seen a tremendous increase in international revenues, which currently drive around 50% of the Company’s topline revenues, and this has the potential to go as high as 70-80% in the next few years. To free up his time to focus on this global activity, investor relations, strategy and strategic projects, an Operations Committee of the Board comprising of Mr. H. H. Haight, Chairman, and Mr. Naresh Malhotra, Chairman of the Audit Committee, will oversee the affairs of the Company.
Mr.Haight,Chairman of the Board commented “In keeping with our ambitious international growth strategy and opportunity to expand our business with existing and new customers,we believe the increased focus by Arvind on this opportunity will help OnMobile win new business and expand into new international markets.We are confident of OnMobile’s continued growth and expansion under Arvind’s guidance and leadership on the international front.We will continue to strengthen and solidify our internal teams,operational systems,processes and structure to align with best practices in India and overseas markets to be best of breed and competitively superior.