Archive for September, 2012
Subex, the Indian RA giant, has announced that its founder, Subash Menon, has stepped down from the role of CEO. You can read their press release here. His successor has not yet been named.
Menon was previously forced to step down as Chairman in June. This was the price he paid for Subex’s continuing financial struggles, which all stemmed from the use of FCCBs to finance the disastrous acquisition of Syndesis. This latest move means that the founder, who gave his name to the company, now only retains a role as a non-independent director. In the press release, Menon said:
The timing of Menon’s resignation is intriguing; Subex customers are about to converge on Vienna for their annual user event. However, those who watch Subex closely might have had a hint this was coming – a June stock exchange filing revealed that Menon and Sudeesh Yezhuvath, COO, had lost their ‘golden goodbye’ entitlements in the event of leaving the company.
Despite the FCCB miscalculation, Menon continues to be admired by many of his rivals. Subex’s woe is not unique amongst Indian businesses; several of them used US Dollar-denominated FCCBs to fuel acquisition sprees, only to get burned by stock market and currency movements. As a leader, Menon’s relentless growth strategy turned a niche software start-up into a global business with annual revenues of USD120M at its peak. In the process, he popularized and spread the concept of the Revenue Operations Centre, and the concept of revenue assurance itself. Whilst Menon was fiercely competitive in business, he was also widely respected for his personable manner. Although his next moves are unknown, we look forward to hearing about Subash Menon’s future business ventures.
Update: since this post was written, the news about Mara-Ison buying Connectiva has finally been acknowledged publicly. Sort of. There are none of the usual press releases, but the acquisition is mentioned in various places on Mara-Ison’s site; for example, see here. The Mara-Ison website links back to Connectiva’s old website, which still has not been updated.
Normally I just like to write about comms risks and business assurance, not about myself. This is one occasion where I feel it is necessary to mention the process by which we circulate news on talkRA. We receive a lot of information about the state of the industry. Only a fraction of this gets publicly shared on the website. Why? Because a lot is told to us in strict confidence, and even more is unverifiable. I did not set up talkRA so it could tell tales. Nevertheless, a so-called ‘leading’ RA vendor has disappeared completely up its own backside, and the lack of official news means that we, like commercial news outlets, have written bugger all about it. (That said, we have written a whole lot more than the so-called media professionals, people who spend their lives copying and pasting press releases.) This is not an acceptable situation. Jokers like Connectiva spend disproportionate amounts on trying to get their marketing repeated by real journalists (do they exist?) pseudo-journalists (too many to count) and genuine sources of news (talkRA). It cannot be right that a supplier to many telcos just disappears and resurrects itself without that getting any news coverage. If it were not for the blog of disaffected employees, there would have been hardly any public updates about Connectiva since they collapsed in 2011.
So let me make a promise about the future of talkRA. In future, where appropriate, we will cover the absence of news as conscientiously as we cover the news that comes our way. We have learned our lesson. Businesses like Connectiva love to communicate when it suits them, but otherwise cannot be trusted to communicate to anyone – employees, customers, or the rest of the world. That puts us in a difficult position. The biggest stories may be the ones that nobody wants to talk about. But they still need to be talked about. And when it comes to learning our lesson, we really look forward to the moment when Connectiva-Mara-Izon-Whatever decides they are ready to market their services again. We will not do what the schmucks do. We will not act like our spouse went to fetch milk at the corner store, and returned 18 months later, with no further explanation needed. Oh no. Questions will be asked. The absence of answers will be ruthlessly pointed out.
Meanwhile, another rumour is that the former Connectiva boss, Avi Basu, is working for the resurrected company. He used to love telling the world what he thought about everything, though seemingly he has nothing to say about corporate turnarounds. So we thought former Connectiva employees, laid off and cheated out of their pay, might like this reminder of Basu’s former communicative glory. We found this excellent video where Basu explains the importance of being compassionate when firing staff…