New Delhi, (IANS) Umang Bedi, who joined Facebook India as Managing Director in June 2016 and spearheaded the company's drive to new milestones in the country, has stepped down from his position, the social networking giant said on Wednesday.
"We confirm that Umang Bedi will be leaving his role and Facebook at the end of this year. He's built a really strong team and business during his time with us, and we wish him all the best," Facebook said in a statement.
The social media platform, that has 201 million active users in India, has named Sandeep Bhushan as interim managing director, sources told IANS.
Facebook appointed Bedi as Managing Director for India to build and maintain strategic relationships with top clients and regional agencies in the country.
Bedi took over from Kirthiga Reddy, who returned to the US to take on a new role at the company's headquarters at Menlo Park, California.
An engineering graduate from University of Pune and an alumni of Harvard Business School, Bedi officially started at Facebook in July 2016.
"For me, five trends -- geographic shift in mobile user growth, Internet is mobile and mobile is Internet, connected device explosion, platform economy and moving to a network level from the mobile ecosystem -- are driving the change in the country," Bedi said recently at a Facebook event in the capital.
India holds tremendous potential for Facebook and is the most critical and strategic market for the company, Bedi said, adding that the country is also the top market for developers for building with Facebook outside the US.
Facebook is available in 12 languages in the country and over 80 per cent of top-grossing apps in India are integrated with the social networking platform.
"The biggest challenge in making Internet relevant locally in Asia including India is local content, local languages and local awareness so we have to move beyond English to make the content locally relevant to consumers," Bedi observed.
Under his leadership, Facebook revealed a three-fold business strategy for India.
The first is aligned with the mission of the company which is to help people connect. The second is to drive deep engagement which means build a process that is relevant and the third is to be absolutely valuable to its partners.
"Our vision for business in India is to be loved and become a trusted brand, to be deeply integrated into the fabric and to provide the experiences which are relevant and valuable to all people who are on our platform, including partners," Bedi noted.
There are over two million small and medium businesses (SMB) pages on Facebook in India and more than 30 per cent of active SMB pages on Facebook are owned by women entrepreneurs.
"All I could say is that we have just started and I am very clear about the fact that everything that Facebook will do in the next few years is about moving real business outcomes for our brands and advertisers - be it large or small," Bedi said.
Bedi came to Facebook with close to two decades of leadership experience covering sales and marketing.
Prior to joining Facebook, Bedi was Managing Director of South Asia region at Adobe.
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