Vodafone bemobile names CEO

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday 23rd April 2013

 PRADEEP Lal has been appointed the regional chief executive officer of the new Vodafone bemobile company.

The majority shareholders in the company are the Independent Public Business Corporation (51%) and the Fiji National Provident Fund (40%).

Lal is currently the chief finance officer and chief operating officer of Vodafone Fiji Ltd, which is assuming management of bemobile under an agreement signed in Port Moresby last week between PNG and Fiji stakeholders representatives. 

The agreement includes rights for bemobile to use the Vodafone brand in PNG and Solomon Islands.

Vodafone Fiji Ltd sponsorship and public relations manager Liga Gukisuva confirmed the appointment of Lal as the regional CEO of Vodafone bemobile.

“He will continue to hold his present roles for Vodafone Fiji Ltd,” Gukisuva told The Fiji Times. 

Lal is to replace acting CEO Michael Ah Koy.

Telikom PNG chairman Mahesh Patel said the focus should be on lifting the market competition.

“Vodafone can’t take it lightly. They have leapt out of the market in Fiji. It’ll be healthy for market competition, there’s a lot of excitement and they’ll have challenges but the potential is here,” he said.

IPBC will inject K181 million into Vodafone bemobile while the FNPF, representing the workers of Fiji, required to provide K188 million.

The remaining shareholding is split between the Asian Development Bank (0.99%) and Capital Way (8.01%). 

Capital Way comprises GEMS Holding (3.96%), Steamships (1.88%), Nambawan Supa (0.80%), Pacific Rumana (0.53%), Nasfund (0.42%) and PNGSDP (0.42%).

Bemobile chairman Syd Yates said last week the final outcome would see bemobile with the capital and strategic partnerships to enable it to compete and thrive in PNG and the Solomon Islands.

“The new partnership will bring much-needed competition and improved services to all mobile phone users in PNG and the Solomon Islands,” he said.

The new company is expected to invest heavily in the next two years on its network equipment and personnel in both countries.