Anandan bids adieu to Google, to join Sequoia Capital

With keen interest and experience in nurturing start-ups, Sequoia has much to gain in Anandan. Google's loss is Sequoia's gain

0
20
Rajan Anandan

New Delhi: Rajan Anandan, vice-president Google south east Asia-India, will be bidding goodbye to the company this April-end, Google said in a statement on 2 April.

For the time being, Vikas Agnihotri, country director, sales, will be leading as the interim head while Caesar Sengupta might take over later.

“We are grateful to Rajan for his huge contribution to Google over the past eight years. His entrepreneurial zeal and leadership has helped grow the overall internet ecosystem in India and Southeast Asia, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures,” said Scott Beaumont, president, Google Asia Pacific.

Before Rajan’s association with Google in February 2011, he served as the MD, Microsoft India for two years. He has also worked with Dell India and McKinsey & Company. He won the IMPACT Person of the Year Award in 2018 for driving Internet adoption across India, specifically in the Tier II & III towns through several initiatives.

Initiatives of Anandan

‘Navlekha’, Google’s platform for users in India who are not conversant with English.

Google ‘Internet Saathi’, an initiative to attract more rural women online.

The giant’s ‘Solve for India’ initiative to reach out to the entrepreneurs of the tier II and III towns in 2017. This initiative aims at providing budding entrepreneurs from smaller towns with the necessary mentoring and support.

The Indian Railway’s high-speed Wi-Fi project, thereby making Wi-Fi freely available to consumers at railway stations across the country.

He was also the president of  The Indus Entrepreneurs, Delhi chapter, a not-for-profit organisation that nurtures start-ups.

Apart from mentoring and encouraging early-stage tech start-ups as an investor, he has a plethora of initiatives to his credit revolving around the ecosystem in the country as the vice president. Next Billion Users initiative is one amidst those.

The initiative aims at developing products suitable to emerging markets such as India. The technology major has come out with India-only applications such as Neighbourly, a social networking platform for the neighbourhood, where one can get one’s queries answered. Having launched in Mumbai, it has now five more cities in its fold.

For him, developing the ecosystem was as important as nurturing startups, for he firmly believed that many of the problems that India has been facing had a solution only in technology.

It didn’t just stop at entrepreneurship and ecosystem. Google Payments was launched last year. YouTube in India grew, and there were significant product developments such as Google Maps.

Since the time Anandan joined Google India as its Managing Director in 2011, the company witnessed a steady growth in its fortunes.

Criticism

Despite Anandan having much to his credit, he earned his share of criticisms too. The onus of establishing a responsible social media continued to haunt him. The company has been accused by websites like MakeMyTrip and BharatMatrimony of manipulating search results. A case with the latter is still sub judice at the NCLAT. While the company has been very vehemently declining the allegations, it has not taken any worthy steps to address those concerns either.

According to sources, investing in promising early-stage ‘technology startups’ across India and SouthEast Asia will be his next area of focus. Meanwhile, he is slated to join Sequoia Capital, a venture fund.

Related

Google doesn’t agree its business practices are unfair, but CCI has a strong case against it