Lebara Group

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Lebara Group
Industry Telecommunications
Founded September 2001
Founder(s) Ratheesan Yoganathan , Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Kandiah Baskaran
Headquarters 25 Copthall Avenue, London, UK
Area served Europe and Australia
Key people Ratheesan Yoganathan (Chairman & CEO) [1]
Products Mobile telecommunications services
Revenue Increase EUR€ 565 million (2010)
Net income Increase EUR€ 21 million (2010)
Employees 1,400 (end 2011)
Website lebara.com

The Lebara Group is a telecommunications company providing services in many countries around the world, using the mobile virtual network operator business model. Lebara Mobile provides Pay As You Go mobile SIM cards, targeted towards the needs of international communities and migrant workers.[2][3]

History[edit]

The Lebara Group was founded in 2001 by Ratheesan Yoganathan, Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Baskaran Kandiah. The founders worked on the idea at an airport cafe after seeing the imposing Telenor building on the way to the airport in Bergen, Norway.[citation needed] The name Lebara was coined from the first two letters of each of the founders' names.[4]

The company's initial product was international telephone calling cards, sold through independent mobile phone shops.[4]

In 2004, Lebara Mobile launched the first-ever[citation needed] low-cost international service in the Netherlands, selling SIM cards using mobile carrier Telfort, a subsidiary of KPN.[4]

In 2009 it began using Vodafone's infrastructure in Australia[5] and the UK. By then it had also expanded into Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.[3] France was added in 2010.[4]

In the UK, Lebara targeted the 16-24 international student community, including through Freshers fairs and targeted emails.[6]

In May 2010 it acquired the ‘Chippie’ brand and customer base in the Netherlands. Lebara said it would retain the Chippie name in the Netherlands, which is designed to address migrant communities from North and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia. Like Lebara Mobile's Dutch MVNO, Chippie calls are carried on KPN's network.[7] Lebara generated annual sales in excess of €565 million in 2010, and had more than three million active customers.[4]

In March 2011, it expanded its services by launching Lebara Money in the UK for customers wishing to send money abroad. In November of that year it signed a global deal to distribute Nokia handsets, with Lebara branding including a ringtone by Indian composer A. R. Rahman.[8]

In 2011, Lebara’s revenue hit €648m (£504m), turning a €20m (£16m) profit. Ratheesan Yoganathan, CEO of Lebara, wants to reach one billion customers by 2020.[9]

Operations[edit]

The company currently operates in Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway (as MyCall), Spain, Switzerland, and the UK,[10] and employs around 1,400 staff in total.[11]

Lebara was recently awarded a licence to operate in Saudi Arabia as part of the Jawraa Consortium.

Country Partner network
 Australia Vodafone[12][13]
 Denmark Telenor[14]
 France Bouygues Telecom[15]
 Germany Telekom[16]
 Netherlands KPN[17]
 Norway Tele2[18]
 Saudi Arabia Mobily[19]
 Spain Vodafone[20]
  Switzerland Sunrise[21]
 United Kingdom Vodafone[22]

Awards[edit]

The following industry recognitions have been awarded to Lebara:

  • Best UK Customer Experience in Telecom Sector; and Best UK Customer Experience Team at 2011 UK Customer Experience Awards
  • Best Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO); and Best Customer Service of the Year at 2011 Mobile News Awards
  • Best Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) at 2010 Mobile News Awards
  • Innovative Service in the 2009 Mobile News Awards, for the international SIM card product
  • In 2008, Real Business Magazine placed Lebara in their Hot 100 listing for the second year running
  • The judges in the 2008 Mobile Awards voted Lebara Mobile Best Newcomer to the UK market
  • In 2007, Real Business Magazine placed Lebara in both its Hot 100 and Top 50 to Watch in Mobile listings
  • The Fast Track 100 listing, produced by the Sunday Times in 2006, ranked Lebara as the fourth fastest-growing private company in Great Britain.

Management[edit]

Yoganathan Ratheesan, co-owner and co-founder of Lebara Group, was the Chief Executive Officer of Lebara Group since the company’s inception in 2001, when he was aged 25.[4] On August 10, 2012 David Moffatt was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Yoganathan Ratheesan became the Chairman of Lebara Group after holding the position of CEO since 2001.[1]

The founders established the Lebara Foundation in 2005. As of 2011 they were intending to sell their interest in the company, and donate half their wealth to expand the charitable work of the Foundation.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lebara names David Moffatt CEO and Yoganathan Ratheesan Chairman of Lebara Group" (Press release). Lebara Media. 2012. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Wray, Richard (30 October 2007). "Vodafone calls up economic migrants". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Wray, Richard (31 October 2007). "Vodafone partners new Sim-only service aimed at immigrants". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Garside, Juliette (17 November 2011). "Lebara co-founder made virtual phone network a real money-maker". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Bingemann, Mitchell (31 March 2009). "Vodafone's Lebara Mobile deal". The Australian. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  6. ^ BAM UK (10 January 2014), CASE STUDY: Lebara mobile raise profile amongst UK students, Getmedia.com, archived from the original on 16 June 2014 
  7. ^ Khalsa, Balihar (20 May 2010). "Lebara acquires Dutch company Chippie". Mobile Magazine (Noble House Media Ltd). Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Lebara strikes global handset deal with Nokia". Telecom Paper. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Tripathi, Shruti (25 July 2012), The £500m-turnover London telecom business you’ve never heard of, archived from the original on 19 April 2014 
  10. ^ Locations, official website. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  11. ^ Garside, Juliette (18 November 2011). "Virtual phone network a real money-maker". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Lebara Mobile launches in Australia" (PDF) (Press release). Lebara. 30 March 2009. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Lohman, Tim (30 March 2009). "Vodafone, Lebara launch new pre-paid mobile service". Computer World (IDG Communications). Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Network status". Lebara. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Lebara Mobile enters French market" (PDF) (Press release). Lebara. 6 May 2010. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Global Market Leader Lebara Mobile launches in Germany" (PDF) (Press release). Lebara. 10 January 2010. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Persbericht" (PDF) (Press release) (in Dutch). Lebara. 2008. Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Network Norway kjøper Lebara" (in Norwegian). Computerworld. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Lebara Mobile to Launch MVNO in Saudi Arabia Shortly". cellular-news. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Lebara Mobile partners with Vodafone to launch low cost, high quality mobile services in Spain" (Press release). Lebara. February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lebara Mobile – slashes the cost of international mobile calling from Switzerland". Lebara. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Lebara Mobile Launches Low Cost International SIM" (Press release). Lebara. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 

External links[edit]