|Founder||Ratheesan Yoganathan , Rasiah Ranjith Leon and Kandiah Baskaran|
|Headquarters||25 Copthall Avenue, London, UK|
|Europe, Saudi Arabia and Australia|
|Ratheesan Yoganathan (Chairman & CEO) |
|Products||Mobile telecommunications services|
|Revenue||EUR€ 565 million (2010)|
|EUR€ 21 million (2010)|
Number of employees
|1,400 (end 2011)|
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.
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. The name Lebara was coined from the first two letters of each of the founders' names.
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. Lebara generated annual sales in excess of €565 million in 2010, and had more than three million active customers.
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.
Lebara was recently awarded a licence to operate in Saudi Arabia as part of the Jawraa Consortium.
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.
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. On 10 August 2012 David Moffatt was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Yoganathan Ratheesan became the Chairman of Lebara Group after holding the position of CEO since 2001.
The founders established the Lebara Foundation, a registered charity under English law, in 2005. As of 2011[update] they were intending to sell their interest in the company, and donate half their wealth to expand the charitable work of the Foundation.
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- "Lebara Mobile – slashes the cost of international mobile calling from Switzerland". Lebara. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
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- LEBARA FOUNDATION, Registered Charity no. 1122734 at the Charity Commission
- http://www.lebara.com Lebara Mobile official website