After a wait of almost a year, Facebook finally has appointed Ajit Mohan, the current CEO of Star-India owned video streaming platform Hotstar, as its Vice-President and Managing Director for India. In his new role, Mohan will focus on working with the senior executive team at Facebook India. He will also drive Facebook's overall expansion strategy, while also finding ways to work with the BJP government at the Centre.
"India is one of the largest and most strategically important countries for Facebook. As we think about what it will take to achieve our mission of bringing people together and building community, we know that investment in India is critical. Ajit's depth of experience will help us to continue to have a positive impact in India across communities, organisations, businesses and with policymakers," said David Fischer, vice-president of business and marketing partnerships at Facebook.
Ajit started his career with Arthur D. Little as a consultant in 1997. He joined management consulting firm McKinsey and Co. as a consultant in 2005 and later joined McKinsey Global Institute as a fellow in 2008. Ajit's stint with star Network started in April 2012 where he worked at different positions, including senior vice president (corporate) and Executive Vice President. He was appointed the President and the head of Star India's online video streaming platform Hotstar in 2015 and was subsequently chosen for the CEO post in April 2016. He pursued his MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
"I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country," Mohan said after his appointment as the Facebook MD on Monday.
Among several challenges the Mark Zuckerberg-led tech giant is facing, the most crucial for Mohan would be to work in consonance with the Indian establishment, which wants tech companies like Facebook to store data in India, and the government's push to curb fake new spread on Facebook.
Unlike his predecessor Umang Bedi and Kirthiga Reddy, Mohan will also handle Facebook's strategy for India, communications and sales. However, he will not handle Facebook's two major platforms - WhatsApp and Instagram. Unlike Mohan, Bedi and Reddy were also not accorded the V-P title. He will directly report to the company's headquarters in Menlo Park in the United States. On salary part, he could be taking home around $2 million (around Rs 14.5 crore per annum) plus stock options, as per a Times of India report.
Mohan's extensive experience in video streaming will come handy for Facebook's plan to cash in on the rising popularity of online content. The company has already brought the rights to stream Spanish football league La Liga in India after unsuccessfully bidding to stream the Indian Premier League matches.
Edited by Manoj Sharma