As part of its ongoing commitment to the region, Snap has hired its first employee in India, Durgesh Kaushik, who will lead local market development activities, including strategic partnerships, community development and overall ecosystem initiatives that support growth.
Kaushik, Head of India Market Development, will initially split time between Mumbai and Bengaluru. Prior to joining Snap, Kaushik worked in leadership roles at several Indian start-ups, most recently as CEO and co-founder of Wishfie. He also spent over three years at Facebook in marketing roles in APAC and EMEA, and worked at Jio selected through their young leadership programme.
The company added more than 10 local content partners to Discover at the end of 2018, rapidly grew official accounts, and introduced support for Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi in March with southern Indian and other major languages to follow soon.
Snap has also partnered with local sport and entertainment entities, including several Indian Premier League teams as well as production houses Red Chillis Entertainment and Excel Entertainment for the movies Zero and Gully Boy. It is supporting the work of the Election Commission of India to encourage civic participation and engagement in the Lok Sabha elections. Snap has also started a college programme with 25 reps in 20 leading institutions in Bengaluru and Mumbai, and plans to expand to other colleges in major cities.
Nana Murugesan, Managing Director of International Markets, said, “We are delighted to welcome Durgesh on board as our Employee No. 1 based in a market at such an exciting time for our business in India. We are encouraged by the product-market fit, strong momentum in recent months and the announcement this week that we have completed 100% rollout of our new app for android will be an important lever for accelerating user growth in a market where it powers more than 90% of smartphones.”
Kaushik said, “I see an enormous opportunity for Snapchat in India where people are embracing the opportunity to communicate quickly and easily with the people that matter to them without the pressure of likes and followers. Snapchat is already seeing solid growth locally and I’m excited to scale this over 2019 and beyond. A priority for me will be to continue the great work to date in developing and supporting local partnerships by extending their breadth and scope.”