Lebara and Lycatel have changed overseas calling in Australia as they have done in Europe. Here’s Lebara’s story. Both companies were founded by Sri Lankans.
Yoganathan Ratheesan was 25 when he co-founded Lebara. Ten years on and the business of selling cheap international mobile phone calls to migrant workers in Europe and Australia is snowballing.
With 3 million active customers, Lebara is already bigger than Tesco Mobile. The firm made €21 million (A$28.4 million) in pre-tax profits last year and its operations in nine countries are expected to double revenues to €1bn in 2011. Staff numbers have risen from 500 to 1400 since the beginning of last year.
But Ratheesan, known to friends as Ratheesh, prefers to be modest.
“I’m not an entrepreneur. I don’t consider myself to be a businessman at all. I’m just very good at running things.”
At 35 he still looks almost boyish in his double-breasted suit, and would rather give the impression of being a corporate newcomer than the creator of a rampantly successful money-making machine.