NOW Corporation is a publicly listed firm in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE Ticker: NOW). It has investments in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industries and engages in mobile telecommunications, web and mobile apps development, IT resource management & outsourcing, collaborations solutions, cloud computing, content development and delivery, broadband connectivity and wireless cable TV. The company owns the following brands: NowPlanet.TV, WebsiteExpress.Biz, and NowNetwork.ph. NOW Corporation has been instrumental with the digital transformation of enterprises across industries including banking, insurance, retail, logistics, and government institutions. In late 2014, NOW Corporation launched and pioneered “Fiber in the Air” broadband in the country, using fixed wireless technology that guarantees committed information rate (CIR) bundled with ultra-high burstable speed.
Chairman, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communications (AIJC), NOW Telecom Company Inc., and Velarde Inc.
AIJC is a 35-year old academic institution that awards Masters degree in Communications Management and Journalism. In 1999, he established his own holdings company Velarde Inc. (VI) and transformed Altimax, a Velarde owned company, into a Broadband Internet Business using Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) and multi-point Microwave Distribution Service (MMDS) utilizing 48 MHZ within the 2.5 GHZ band. In 2008, 86% of Altimax was acquired by Globe Telecoms; VI still owns 14%. In 2002, he and his multinational management team engineered the buy-out of Nextel Communications Philippines, Inc. a USD200M investment of US Nextel International, Inc.
Founder, NowPlanet.TV; Veteran, Media man; Commissioner to UNESCO (2003-2010)
In 2012, Mel launched a new digital brand under NOW named NowPlanet.TV, a new media service platform that delivers digitized content in enterprise, education and entertainment, across all devices and around the world, to vast and targeted audiences. Early in his career, he reorganized the News and Public Affairs Department of ABS-CBN and worked as News Director – Trainee at KTLA Channel 5 News in Los Angeles, California. From 1991 to 1997, he co-founded and led the day-to-day business development and operations of Sky Cable, which became the largest cable TV in the Philippines. In 2003, the President of the Philippines appointed him as Philippine Commissioner to the UNESCO, which he served as Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee.
Top Taxpayer Award (2009) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
In 2009, he received the Top Taxpayer Award from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) after Velarde Inc., was recognized by the BIR as Top ONETT Taxpayer for Revenue Region No. 8, having made the highest tax payment for 2009. The Top ONETT Taxpayer Award is given to an entity that paid the highest amount of tax for a ‘one-time transaction.’ BIR Revenue Region 8 covers the Philippine cities of includes Pasay, Muntinlupa, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Taguig, Pateros and Makati, the country’s financial capital.
Murillo Velarde 1734 Map
In 2014, Mel acquired the 1734 Murillo Velarde Map from a Sotheby’s London auction. The 1734 Murillo Velarde Map is touted as the ‘Mother of all Philippine Maps’ and is the oldest and first scientific map of this kind in the world.
Mel is a graduate of Boston University, Massachusetts, USA, with a degree in Liberal Studies Major in Interdisciplinary Studies (Summa Cum Laude). He also took up the Owners and Presidents Management Program at Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Cambridge; International Human Rights Law (Summer Course) at Oxford University, Oxford, England; Masters in Business Economics at University of Asia and the Pacific; Masters Cinematography, American Society of Cinematographers.
He also took up Executive Education Programs and Professional Certified Training Programs in the following academic institutions:
- Wealth Management at Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania
- Strategic Finance at University of Michigan
- Corporate Restructuring and Business Transformation at Harvard Business School
- Digital Marketing at Harvard Business School
- Managing Businesses in China, Tsinghua University and Harvard Business School
- Directing Documentaries at the London School of Film and Television
- Broadcasting and Cable Television, Satellite Communications, Data and Internet
Communications at the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI)
- Cybersecurity: Planning, Implementing and Auditing of Critical Security Controls (SANS, Washington D.C.)
- Advanced and Competitive Sailing Certifications at the Swain Sailing School at Tortola, the British Virgin Islands, Caribbean.