Social networking giant Facebook has roped in former chief product officer at Snapdeal, Anand Chandrasekaran, for a strategic role for its Messenger app.
"I am super excited to share that building on learning and experiences, I am joining Facebook to work on Facebook Messenger platform.
“Really looking forward to working with Ime, David, Stan, John and the team to listen and learn and help build on the momentum," Chandrasekaran said in a post on the social networking platform. Facebook, however, did not comment on the appointment. Chandrasekaran, who served as the senior director of mobile and search products at Yahoo between 2011 and 2014, worked with Airtel and Snapdeal in India in the past two and a half years.
Terming his stint in India as "most intense, humbling and incredible periods", Chandrasekaran drew parallels between the Silicon Valley and the Indian start-up ecosystem. "'Going native' and re-connecting with the country you grew up in is something I didn't imagine I would get to do, let alone witnessing the entrepreneurial energy that's driving India forward.
“I saw first-hand how it became cool to build code and products that solve problems - the heart of what makes the Valley and other ecosystems what it is," he wrote. Chandrasekaran quit Yahoo to join Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecom operator by subscribers. During his 13-month tenure at Bharti Airtel, he helped launch its music and mobile payments services. He later joined e-commerce major Snapdeal as its chief product officer.
Chandrasekaran's experience with India could help Facebook in further expansion in the country. Facebook counts India as its second-largest userbase with over 155 monthly active users and a majority of these access the platform from their mobile phones. Facebook, which is working on ways to further enhance the Messenger offering on the mobile platform, is also looking for avenues of monetisation through the product.
At its developer conference, Facebook had announced bots for Messenger, which would allow businesses to automate responses and some services. It is also working on making it easier for users to use Messenger and has been trying to position Messenger as the de facto text messaging app on Android phones. Ime Archibong is Director, Strategic Partnerships, at Facebook while David Marcus is Head of Messenger.
Stan Chudnovsky is Head of product for Messaging and John Lagerling is V-P Business Development, Mobile and Product Partnerships.