The Astro Group of Malaysia has picked up a 50 per cent stake in Mogae Digital Pvt Ltd, promoted by Sandeep and Tanya Goyal. Astro Group will invest up to $5 million in the venture. Mogae Digital is in the process of launching a mobile social network service portal, which the company claims would enable even basic mobile phone users to interact with friends, exchange news and views, and gain value from a number of other embedded verticals.
Sandeep and Tanya Goyal are also the Indian joint-venture partners of Japanese giant Dentsu Inc. The Goyals have three ad agencies under the Dentsu umbrella, which handle clients such as Toyota, Honda, Canon, Raymond, Thomas Cook and FedEx.
The Astro Group, a media conglomerate in Malaysia, operates a pay television DTH platform and 12 radio stations across Malaysia. Maxis telecom brand in Malaysia is an Astro associate entity. In India, the Astro Group has interests in DTH player Sun Direct as well as radio brands Red FM and SFM. Telecom player Aircel is part of the Astro family in India.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Mogae Digital, said, “Mogae Digital intends to be at the forefront of the content revolution that will soon unfold with the launch of 3G services in India. But our unique model, while preparing for 3G related opportunities, focuses first on the available 300 million current mobile users. Any phone that supports a basic 160-character SMS is target audience for us.”
Mogae Digital’s flagship product is scheduled to go live in the second quarter of 2009. It will also be introducing mobile games and momics (mobile comics) later this year. A local search engine is also being readied for launch in the third quarter this year.
Raghavendra Madhav, Executive Director, Astro Group, added, “Mogae Digital has the creative understanding required to speak to diverse audiences in the emerging New Media space of the Internet and mobile. The products that they have created are versatile and effectively engage consumers at different levels. Given Astro’s already large interest in media space, Mogae Digital will be a good addition to our bouquet.”