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Facebook appoints former Snapdeal exec Anand Chandrasekaran to its Messenger platform

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Facebook, the social media giant, has hired Anand Chandrasekaran, former Snapdeal, Bharti Airtel and Yahoo executive. Anand has been roped in for a strategic role, in order to further push its Messenger app.

Anand Chandrasekaran worked as the senior director of mobile and search products at Yahoo between 2011 and 2014. Later, he was hired by Airtel as a Chief Product Officer, where he quit after just one year. In 2015, he joined Snapdeal as a CPO. He left Snapdeal after just 1 year and 2 months.

During his 13-month tenure at Bharti Airtel, he helped the company to launch its Wynk Music series and mobile payments services. At Snapdeal, Chandrasekaran is credited for launching a revamped version of the marketplace’s website and app, image search feature and integrating Freecharge, which Snapdeal acquired for $400 million.

Commenting about this move, Anand Chandrasekaran said in a Facebook post,

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.

He termed his stint in India as “most intense, humbling and incredible periods”. He further added:

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.

Anand holds a M.S. degree in Electrical Engg. from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Communications Engg. from PSG College of Technology. Earlier, he was also named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

His experience with India will be helpful for Facebook to further expand its presence in the country. Facebook currently counts India as its second largest user base with over 155 monthly active users. Majority of these users access the platform from their mobile phones.

Facebook is working on ways to further enhance the Messenger offering on the mobile platform. It is also looking for avenues of monetisation through the product. It recently announced bots for Messenger, which would allow businesses to automate responses and some services.

In recent times, Anand Chandrasekaran has also become a prolific angel investor. He has invested between $25,000 and $50,000 in around 15 startups, including food technology firm InnerChef, healthcare company Pluss, dating platform Aisle, among others.


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