October 2014: Mark Roden, founder and CEO, ding*

Business Person of the Month | Tue 4 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
John Glenny, partner, MERC Partners; Mark Roden, founder and CEO, ding*; Ruth Curran, managing partners, MERC Partners.
 John Glenny, partner, MERC Partners; Mark Roden, founder and CEO, ding*; Ruth Curran, managing partner, MERC Partners.

Mark Roden has had a busy month. In addition to receiving the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2014, Roden has also secured his company’s place as one of the world’s largest international top-up providers after acquiring Cuba-based website RecargasaCuba.com.

Established in 2006 as ezetop, ding* enables people living abroad to send mobile phone top-up instantly to family and friends back home in 100+ countries worldwide. The company is currently connected to 300 mobile operators in 130 countries with a reach of 3.5 billion phones and to date, has sent over 80 million top-ups.

The acquistion of RecargasaCuba.com – a website specialising in mobile top-up exclusively to Cuba – which was announced in early October, will allow ding* to expand its already significant presence in the Cuban market, one of the largest receivers of international top-up. Speaking about the acquisition, Roden said ding* also plans to target the global Cuban Diaspora located in the US, Canada and across Europe and boost growth in the company’s online channel. He said: “We are thrilled to welcome RecargasaCuba to ding*. Their expertise in the Cuban market brings an invaluable insight that will help us grow our business in the region.”

Headquartered in Dublin, ding* currently employs 200 people and has regional offices in Miami, Dubai, Barcelona, El Salvador, Bucharest and Dhaka.

Roden began his career with Esat Telecom, where he was the first employee, and was responsible for its commercial development until 1997. After Esat, he set up a calling card company, Torc Telecom. Following rapid expansion they acquired the much larger World Telecom which ultimately led to the receivership of both companies in April 2001. A few months later, Roden founded easycash, a retail cash ATM operator which deployed in-store ATMs. easycash was acquired by Ulster Bank/RBS in 2004.

In October, Roden was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2014. He will now go forward to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2015.

CV highlights

  • Mark Roden is founder and CEO of ding*, formerly ezetop.
  • He began his career with Esat Telecom where he was director of sales and marketing and had a responsibility for the establishment and development of Esat’s commercial division.
  • Set up Torc Telecom 1997, followed by easycash in 2001, which was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004.
  • Established ezetop, ding*, in 2006.
  • Has a degree in Marketing from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from IMD in Switzerland.

Merc logoBusiness & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.