NCL appoints former PIKOM chairman, Australian directors to its board

[ By New Straits Times ]

Former National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) chairman and substantial shareholder Ganesh Kumar Bangah has been appointed as executive chairman for the Australian-listed Netccentric Ltd (NCL). NSTP/FILEPIX

KUALA LUMPUR: Netccentric Ltd (NCL), a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), as appointed former National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah as executive chairman effective 1 September 2020.

Ganesh is also the majority shareholder of NCL, having bought a 84 percent equity interest in the company earlier this year.

Along with Ganesh, NCL’s two other Malaysian key management personnel are Joanne Chen and Daniel Wong who are chief operating officer and chief technology officer, respectively.

Ganesh will lead the management team to focus on corporate execution, while Angeline Chiam has been re-designated from her former positions of interim chief executive officer (CEO) and regional finance director to chief financial officer.

Further, Ganesh’s appointment as NCL’s executive chairman represents a more hands-on approach to fulfill the transformation of the company from its existing services-based business model to platform-centric in the near future.

His vision for NCL is to make it a sustainable growth entity managed by a team of experienced professionals, while being overseen by a board that is able to provide strategic guidance with strong governance and oversight, NCL said in a statement to the ASX today.

The platform-centric strategy revolves around ‘social commerce’, which essentially is an extension of e-commerce being enhanced through social media and user contributions to assist online buying and selling of products and services.

Having become Malaysia’s youngest CEO of a public listed company at 23 with the listing of MOL Access Portal Bhd on Bursa Malaysia before listing MOL Global Inc on the US Nasdaq in 2014, Ganesh is regarded by various industry observers as a visionary leader.

Today, Ganesh also serves as chairman of Future Digital, the think tank arm of PIKOM.

“With this platform strategy for the NCL Group, we aim to connect multiple groups – including merchants, influencers and consumers – to create positive network effects,” said Ganesh.

Last month, The New Straits Times had reported about NCL’s first strategic move towards this new strategy via a joint venture agreement with Commerce DotAsia Ventures Sdn Bhd and Docono Holdings Sdn Bhd to operate a live streaming e-commerce business platform.

The new entity called Nuffnang Live Commerce Sdn Bhd was established to capitalise on the fast-growing social ‘live commerce’ trend.

Nuffnang’s platform solution is an application programming interface (API) integrated with Facebook to provide seamless user interface from live streaming, automated order management, online payment and fulfilment while artificial intelligent-based technologies would progressively be introduced to ensure automation for end-users to order and purchase.

In addition to Ganesh’s appointment, Australians Darren Cooper and Robert Sultan was also appointed to the board as independent non-executive directors with effect from 1 September 2020, a strategic move to further improve investor relations and corporate governance.

The company described Darren and Robert as ‘highly experienced leaders within the Australian corporate scene’.

Robert will also be assuming the role of chairperson of NCL’s remuneration committee, in place of David Chiam who has chosen to step down from the role and his non-executive director position with effect from the same date.

“With over 25 years senior and executive management experience, Darren is currently managing director of a private consulting business, board chairperson of The Go2 People Ltd and Spectur Ltd and deputy board chairperson of Foundation Housing Ltd.

He is also non-executive director of JDSi Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd and Ocean Gardens Retirement Village Inc.

Robert, meanwhile, is a corporate and commercial lawyer as well as former partner of international law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, with a 30-year portfolio in merger and acquisitions (M&A), corporate advisory and corporate governance.

A former member of the Australian Takeovers Panel, Robert is also currently a director of the Gourlay Family Office which includes the Gourlay Family Trust.

The Trust, in conjunction with Trinity College Melbourne, had established the Gourlay Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business.