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AppAsia’s game changer

This article first appeared in The Star, on May 18, 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: Technology-based AppAsia Bhd, formerly known as Extol MSC Bhd, sees mobile content and applications as the way forward to grow the company.

The company’s chairman, Datuk Wira Rahadian Mahmud Mohammad Khalil, said this would be the game changer for AppAsia.

AppAsia, which suffered losses in 2013 followed by a shareholders’ tussle, has expanded into the mobile content and applications business in the hope of turning around the company’s fortunes.

“Since the new major shareholders took over, the company has cleaned up and started on a clean slate.

“We would still continue the IT security services segment under the Extol brandname as it is the core business and major contributor to the group’s revenue,” said Rahadian when met after AppAsia Bhd’s AGM on Friday.

He said the company was in the midst of testing the market and has so far developed 20 apps, and aims to have a substantial portfolio of apps by year-end.

It has spread to a few developed markets, namely the United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Australia and Canada.

“The apps can be downloaded for free and we would monetise the apps via advertisements and in-app purchases,” Rahadian said, adding that the 20 apps would give the company a recurring income.

As part of an initiative to develop more apps, the company has set up the Talents Club in January to encourage university students to develop apps, which would also serve as a recruiting ground for app programmers.

Rahadian said there was huge potential in the market and that the company would work on products and services differentiation such as the recent acquisition of an RM1.5mil online fashion business from Just Retro Enterprise.

Furthermore, the company has plans to grow its existing online shopping platform, which has has about 18,000 existing active members and generates RM3.5mil revenue a year.

In March 2014, four shareholders of Extol, holding no less than 10% of the company’s paid-up capital, requisitioned for an EGM to remove three directors and appoint three new ones to the board.

The four shareholders were Manjung Untung Sdn Bhd, Crystal Privilege Sdn Bhd, Datuk Lai Wen Shian and Datuk Lai Wen Horng.

Subsequently, in June 2014, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled out the removal of Datuk Ahmad Ismail, Mohd Faizal Ahmad Mahidin and Megat Mohd Hazim Megat Mohd Aminuddin as the company’s directors during its EGM last month as valid and enforceable.

The court viewed the appointment of Datuk Lai Wen Shian, Wong Ngai Peow and Low Kim Leng as the company’s directors during the EGM as valid.


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