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ricardo_bastos_MEFIn August MEF appointed Ricardo Bastos as the new General Manager for the Latin America Chapter. He joins MEF as a seasoned mobile industry executive having held senior roles at Vodafone Group, Siemens as well as digital agency, Accedo Brasil. At MEF Ricardo will build on the platform that it has established as the regional hub for mobile content and commerce including its Unified Code of Conduct for Brazil, which defines guidelines for the content and promotion of all value added services (VAS) within this key mobile market.

We took some time out to ask Ricardo about his experience and his new role.

What is your role at  MEF?

I am the LatAm general manager.  My main responsibility will be to oversee MEF’s roadmap of LatAm activities across areas such as Mobile Innovation and Mobile Money in collaboration with MEF’s LatAm Board which is chaired by Filipe Rosa.  I’ll also be working closely with MEF members in the regions including senior representatives from Boku, Naranya, Binbit,, Mobile Life, MOBINT, Movile, Spring Mobile Solutions,, TIMWE and Zeniva with a vision to build a globally relevant local community.

What is the most exciting thing about mobile in the LatAm region?

I think there are three things actually:
  • its size: almost 600M people potential users of mobile products and services
  • its growth potential: as of last year, almost half the population in Latin America, still did not own a mobile phone
  • the immense and unique society-changing opportunities it unlocks in growth economies like those of Latin America.

Ricardo addresses Members at a recent meeting in Sao Paulo

What has been the highlight of your working career to date?

Being part of the team that launched the first MobileTV service in Europe, with SFR, in France, while working for Siemens, in 2003.

What new initiatives will you be working on going forward?

I’m excited about the mobile start-up scene in LatAM.  New initiatives in the region will include connecting the LatAm mobile start-up community to the established mobile industry both locally and internationally. A key component of this is MEF’s flagship event MEF Global Forum taking place in Silicon Valley on November 17th – 19th which features a dedicated Innovation Day, regional Latin America track supported by Movile, as well as the 11th annual international Meffys awards.

And finally, what apps do you use and why?

  • The traffic and navgigation app Waze is definitely my number one app. Living in São Paulo, Brazil, means getting from A to B is a challenge.  It is a life-changing app.
  • Whatsapp, my regular 1-1 messaging app.
  • iCal, my default calender.
  • Evernote, my default notes app.
  • For social media, I interact quite a lot on Facebook and LinkedIn so I use their apps quite a lot.
  • Foursquare, anytime I go to a place I have never been. Not too long ago I almost used it as my tour guide, while on holidays.
  • Forza, a football app, so that I can follow my favourite team and the most important things around football.

mef_global_forum_2014The mobile content and commerce industry in Brasil and Mexico will also feature as a regional track at MEF Global Forum 2014, MEF’s annual conference in San Francisco (November 17 – 19), where you can meet Ricardo and the rest of the LatAm Team in person.