In line with its commitment to offering innovative marketing and media solutions, HT Media Ltd has announced the creation of a new mobile marketing company. The new company will be a joint venture between Firefly e-Ventures Ltd, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of HT Media Ltd which leads all its new media businesses, and Velti Plc, an international firm providing software platforms, applications and services for advertising agencies, mobile operators and media.
Firefly e-Ventures Ltd will have a 65 per cent shareholding in the JV, which will service large network operators, brands and advertising agencies, as well as smaller regional companies across India. Amit Garg, Business Head, Firefly e-Ventures Ltd, will be responsible for this new venture as well.
This JV marks HT’s foray into the mobile marketing space as a serious growth initiative in the new media space. Significantly, the new venture will be empowered to provide solutions even to other media, advertising or marketing providers in India.
Velti, listed in the London Stock Exchange in 2006, is considered a pioneer in the mobile marketing world, internationally, delivering mobile marketing and advertising technologies for a plethora of mobile operators, brands, advertising agencies and media groups.
The JV will use Velti’s mobile marketing platform (MMP) to execute all of its mobile marketing and advertising activity to target the rapidly expanding population of mobile users in India. There are already more than 300 million mobile customers in the country and the market is continuing to grow quickly, with 10.07 million mobile subscribers added in September 2008 alone. Some projections have the Indian market breaking the 500-million user mark by September 2010.
The JV will operate from within the Hindustan Times (Firefly e-Ventures Ltd) offices in Gurgaon as well as having a sales team in Mumbai.
Rajiv Verma, CEO, HT Media Ltd, commented, “HT Media Ltd is committed to the development of new media initiatives, and with Velti’s expertise in mobile solutions, we look forward to offering breakthrough and patented mobile based marketing services to our valued customers. It also reinforces our position as India’s leading media house, providing a multi-channel advertising platform across print, radio, Internet and mobile.”
Alex Moukas, CEO, Velti Plc, added, “India is a key market for Velti, and establishing this JV with HT Media Ltd represents a significant strategic move in our global expansion. We are delighted to be in partnership with such a prestigious media group and a company, which recognises the substantial opportunity the mobile channel represents. The mobile market in India is growing very quickly and across the country mobile uptake continues to outstrip Internet connections, so it is a very exciting time to start this new venture.”