Meta has appointed Sandhya Devanathan as the new head of its India business following several high-profile departures in its key overseas market.
The social juggernaut said on Thursday that Devanathan has been elevated to VP of Meta India. Devanathan joined the firm in 2016 and helped build the company’s Singapore and Vietnam businesses, Meta said. In her new role, she will report to Dan Neary, Vice President at Meta Asia-Pacific.
The new reporting hierarchy is a shift for the firm, which earlier saw India executives directly report to the U.S. leadership. In 2020, Devanathan moved to lead the company’s gaming efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. With over half a billion Indians using Meta services, India is the largest market for the American giant.
“India is at the forefront of digital adoption and Meta has launched many of our top products, such as Reels and Business Messaging, in India first. We are proud to have recently launched JioMart on WhatsApp, which is our first end-to-end shopping experience in India,” said Marne Levine, Chief Business Officer of Meta, in a statement.
“I’m pleased to welcome Sandhya as our new leader for India. Sandhya has a proven track record of scaling businesses, building exceptional and inclusive teams, driving product innovation and building strong partnerships. We are thrilled to have her lead Meta’s continued growth in India.”
The new appointment comes at a time when Meta has seen several key departures in recent weeks. Ajit Mohan, the former head of Meta India, left the firm late last month to join rival Snap as the president of the younger firm’s Asia-Pacific business.
WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose and Meta India’s Public Policy head Rajiv Aggarwal stepped down earlier this week. Even as the parent firm Meta has impressively grown its finances in India, the company’s WhatsApp service has been slow with picking pace in the country’s mobile payments market.
“WhatsApp Pay has to be the biggest failure in India as a tech product,” tweeted Ashneer Grover, the flamboyant entrepreneur who co-founded fintech startup BharatPe. “Everyone has WhatsApp on their phone — sending money on WhatsApp using UPI is as easy as sending pictures. It should have beaten Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay,” he added.
(More to follow)