Axiata appoints Ncell MD

13 April 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


After Axiata’s $1.03bn acquisition of a 60.4% stake in Ncell, its board of directors have appointed Simon Perkins as the managing director the Nepalese operator, effective April 12.

axiataThe news comes after TeliaSonera announced earlier this week that it had completed the divestment of its holding in Reynolds Holding, which owns Ncell, to Axiata.

Perkins has 40 years of telecoms experience and joined the Axiata Group in July 2008, when he was appointed CEO of Vietnamobile. Prior to Axiata he was the CEO for Millicom’s operation in Vietnamhe spent more than 20 years with BT in the UK and its operations in the US, as well as India (Bharti), Singapore (StarHub) and the regional office in Asia-Pacific.

“I am particularly inspired to be part of the exceptional team here at Ncell and working together with them in taking Ncell to the next level of excellence and performance,” said Perkins.

Axiata has announced that it will soon launch two special edition voice and roaming products for Ncell customers. ‘Axiata Roam’, a group-wide roaming service, will be introduced for the first time in Nepal offering discounted roaming prices to Ncell customers traveling within the Axiata footprint countries and roaming with its operating companies and partners. With its second product, ‘Call Ayo Paisa Payo’, Ncell customers upon receiving international calls from Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lasting for more than five minutes, will receive attractive bonus balance.

“We aim to serve the people of Nepal, focusing on improvements to the network and coverage quality, technology rollout, go-to-market strategies, innovative product development, human resource and efficient procurement processes, based on our experience in similar markets, together with nurturing and developing local talent."

Axiata’s president and CEO, Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, outlined one key ambition: “To effectively offer high-speed data connectivity, and exciting products and services to meet the demands of a young and maturing Nepali market. There are tremendous opportunities for us to grow with the nation for the longer-term.”

In total, Axiata has secured an 80% equity interest and controlling stake in Ncell. Axiata enters the Nepal market with its local partner, Sunivera, holding 20% direct local shareholding in Ncell, as required under local law. Local partner transaction completion was a condition precedent to Axiata’s acquisition of Ncell.