The importance of local knowledge and working with partners is key to doing business and nowhere more so than in Asia where MEF’s Asia chapter was established in 2005 to help bridge the gap between East and West.

Headquartered in Singapore, Asia’s Board has representatives from across South East Asia. In 2015 its events include MEF Connects in Indonesia and Thailand as well as the inaugural MEF Global Forum in Bangalore, India.

Asia Team

Linda Ruck – MEF Asia General Manager

Linda was appointed to the role of GM MEF Asia in January 2010. Linda has been based in Asia for 10 years and has extensive international and cross cultural business experience, having worked on managerial and consultancy projects throughout Asia Pacific.

With an entrepreneurial background, Linda established her own Public Relations and Event Management Company in Singapore in 2005 and has built the business up to be a successful boutique PR Company supporting companies expanding into the ASEAN market using Singapore as strategic hub.  Linda brings to MEF an extensive Asia Pacific network, regional sales, sponsorship and business development experience in Asia Pacific and expertise in high profile regional events.

MEF Asia Board of Directors


Sissel Henriette Larsen – MEF ASIA VICE CHAIR

Director Global Partnerships & Head of Music Asia, Telenor Digital

I’m a marketing executive with 20 years of international experience from mobile operators, mobile content and service industry since its start.

I worked in Telenor’s mobile operator startups in CEE and Asia since the 90’s. In 2000 I founded my own startup in mobile content and DRM. I returned to Telenor Group in 2006; roles including leading the Telenor Groups global mobile content partnership program, and the mobile internet Asia initiative in the Asian Region.

My experience working with MEF started back in 2003; leading the mobile Digital Rights Management initiative. I have served on the MEF Global Board, and also on the EMEA board.

In my current role for Telenor Digital, based in Bangkok, I’m working across Telenor Asia portfolio in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, covering both emerging and developing markets, I’m focused on Telenor’s overall vision; Internet for All. This means offering content and services that is relevant and gives a reason to use internet for everyone – and stimulate active usage.

Trevor Goldberg

Vice President Business Development, Bango

Trevor has worked in the mobile technology sector for over 20 years and is currently VP Business Development for Bango, having joined in 2005.   Trevor is responsible for Bango’s mobile operator relationships throughout Asia, where they have Direct Carrier Billing connections for the major mobile app stores such as Google Play. Deployments are live in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines and Bangladesh and managed from their Singapore office.

Trevor has a wealth of experience of the mobile ecosystem, having worked with operators, device manufactures, content providers, developers and app stores.

Ravi Rajagopalan 

CEO, Empays Payment Systems

Ravi is the CEO and co-founder of Empays Payment Systems Ltd. He has a track record of conceptualizing and building businesses.  He is the founder of the IMT Payment System offered in India by Empays.Empays Payments Systems (“Empays”) offers the simplest mobile payment system in India.  It commenced operations in January 2010.

In the short space of three years, the IMT Payment System has been adopted by India’s leading banks – Axis Bank and Bank of India. Recently State Bank of India joined the system. The Reserve Bank of India awarded authorisation to the IMT Payment System – a unique achievement. The company created India’s first international remittance system that uses mobile phones with the full approval of the regulator. In addition the company has also achieved abreakthrough in winning agreement from a leading European bank to become their worldwide mobile remittance partner. Recently India’s Ministry of Finance invited Ravi to be a part of the Key Advisory Group on Payment Systems under the Chairmanship of Secretary Financial Services.

Paul Palmer

Vice President APAC, F-Secure

Paul Palmer is the Vice President, APAC region of F-Secure Corporation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He joined F-Secure Corporation in May 2014.

Paul leads Sales and Marketing across the APAC region for F-Secure and is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Paul started his career in engineering and subsequently transitioned to technical presales and then onto sales and sales management. Paul has worked extensively in EMEA and APAC regions and has a broad contact base of customers and partners. Paul has been based and working in APAC for the past 10 years and has worked in the mobile device management (MDM), femto (small cell), mobile security, Value Added Services including content acquisition and working with the entertainment industry.

Prashant Gokarn

Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, Indosat

Chief Strategy & Planning Officer at Indosat company in July 2011, previously held various positions including Head of 3G Business, Reliance Communications, India.

Strategy and business operations experience in dynamic and highly competitive markets. Experience in setting up a new organization managing assets of US$ 3 billion and revenues of US$ 500m. Project management experience in wireless and fixed line telecommunications. Extensive telecom and media experience across India, Europe, Far East Asia and Latin America. Launched a pan India 3G network within 100 days of receiving spectrum on back of extensive experience across network, customer care, sales and marketing. Demonstrated strategy, financial investment, change management and organization restructuring experience in various countries and organization cultures. Received Postgraduate in Management Studies from the India Institute Management and Bachelor of Technology from Indian Institute of Technology (ITT).

Raj Dhamodharan

Regional Head of Mobile and Ecommerce APAC & MEA, MasterCard Worldwide

Raj Dhamodharan is the Head of Mobile and Ecommerce products at MasterCard for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa. In this role he is responsible for managing digital wallet products across the ecommerce and mobile commerce channels. From founding and running a successful startup in the Silicon Valley to launching multiple product lines in large companies, Raj brings a diverse background to this role. Under his leadership MasterCard has launched mobile/digital wallet solutions with telecom operators and financial institutions across Australia, Singapore, Japan & Hong Kong.

Raj believes that MEF is all about bringing a diverse range of industry players together to raise awareness and solve issues of the day. As a member MEF Asia board, Raj hopes to leverage his network and MasterCard’s expertise to engage the larger mobile eco system including Telcos, developers, merchants and financial institutions to do just that. In Asia mobile is critical to delivering financial services to both affluent and underserved, as the board member Raj will help MEF organize workshops and dialogs between financial services and mobile/telecom industries in Asia.

   

Thawatvongse Silamanonda 

SVP, International Business Development, Mono Technology

Thwatvongse Silamanonda has been with Mono Group since 2000, first leading the PassionAsia.com, the first online tour package customization website in Asia. Later, he created a hosted solution for travel companies around Thailand to power their own web portals with capabilities to do online bookings for hotels and tours, becoming a candidate in the APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Awards) awards in Malaysia.

Thawatvongse also lead the acquisition of Hotelthailand.com website, Thailand’s premier travel website which later offered mobile SMS alerts and Mobile portals to its customers. With his extensive knowledge in E-commerce and mobile marketing, today Thawatvongse set footprints for Mono International mobile business in Indonesia, Vietnam and Korea. Thwatvongse Silamanonda holds a BA of International Relations in Thailand.

Lito Villanueva 

Head, Innovation, Ecosystem Build & Global Engagements, Smart e-Money

Lito has extensive experience and expertise in financial services encompassing banking, telecommunications and payments industries. He is the lead in unlocking the huge potential of e-money by introducing innovations on payments, digital commerce experience and a wide range of emerging digital payment platforms. His task is to re-imagine how consumers interact with their money for payments and commerce through innovative products and services.

He commenced his career at The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), then at the Land Bank of the Philippines, IFC of the World Bank Group to develop enabling mobile money opportunities in Mongolia. Followed by customer strategy and market activation lead for VISA global mobile products covering emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and EMEA.

He is currently the head for payments innovation, ecosystem build and global engagements for Smart e-Money, the mobile financial services subsidiary of Smart Communications. He led in developing trailblazing e-money initiatives, such as introducing BayadLoad (load as currency) which was cited as pioneering for financial inclusion by USAID.

GEORGE GUO

Corporate Vice President and Managing Director of APAC, Syniverse

George is a seasoned telecom and Internet executive with 20 years of proven experience in building, managing, and growing successful functional organization, line of business, and regional subsidiary for Fortune 100 and mid-cap public companies. George holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Northwestern University in the US.

After working for high-tech companies such as Lockheed Martin with progressive managerial responsibilities, George joined Neustar as its founding CIO in 2000, and then came to Asia to found its APAC subsidiary in 2004. Neustar successfully went public on NYSE in 2005.

Currently at Syniverse (a spin-off from Verizon and a portfolio company of the Carlyle Group), George is heading its Enterprise & Intelligence Solutions business in APAC. Syniverse has 28 years of experience in the mobile industry, enabling mobile operators, enterprises, brands, and OTTs to reach, engage, and protect end consumers for most personalized, context-aware mobile experience.