CEO of loss-making S i2i cuts his annual pay to $1 as Singapore-listed firm announces new initiatives

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed S i2i announced on Friday that group CEO, Mr Maneesh Tripathi, has voluntarily offered to convert his basic annual salary to $1 in light of the handset maker and service provider's losses over the past three years.

Mr Maneesh will link his variable pay and remuneration to the profitability of the company, previously known as s Spice i2i and, before that, MediaRing.

Back in 2008, Mr Sam Chong Keen took $1 annual pay when he took over as group president of Jade Technologies, whose share price had collapsed after a botched takeover attempt. Mr Sam was offered 20 million new shares and $1 a year for the two-year rescue job - similar to his previous appointment as CEO of Xpress Holdings, where he was given 15 million shares and also $1 a year for a two-year contract.

S i2i CEO's pay move came as it reported on Friday a wider net loss of US$37.3 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014. This compared to a net loss of US$23.2 million a year ago. Revenue dipped 5 per cent to US$94.5 million.

Separately, S i2i also announced that it will be retailing and distributing its "Nexian" brand phones and other mobile products and accessories in Indonesia through online websites, in a change in strategy. S i2i said it will work with selected distribution partners to execute this new online strategy.

The company is also streamlining its retail business by selectively retaining the profitable retail shops, and discontinuing those which are not lucrative or profitable.

It will be scaling down its number of employees in Indonesia, primarily those supporting the traditional channel driven distribution business and the non-profitable retail stores. The company said this will incur a one-time restructuring cost which is not expected to have a material financial impact.

The company said distributing its products through its retail shops and retail partners entailed significant overheads, rental and manpower costs, and distribution expenses. It believes the online strategy will allow the group to operate at a leaner cost structure owing to the reduction of retail overheads and hiring costs and to price its mobile products more competitively while keeping profit margins intact.

S i2i also announced on Friday a partnership with Kaplan Learning Institute Pte Ltd to provide approved professional training courses/CET courses in Singapore.

The partnership will provide training courses in the area of Workplace Skills (WPS), Executive Development Growth for Excellence (EDGE), Workplace Literacy and Numeracy (WPLN), Business Management and Business Management Financial Management (BM WSQ), Leadership and People Management (LPM WSQ) and Service Excellence (SV) courses amongst others. New courses will be added as per guidelines from Kaplan.

The courses will be offered from the facilities of Kaplan currently and in later stages at Mediaring/ Si2i Ltd approved centres once authorised by relevant authorities and Kaplan.