Facebook-owned WhatsApp names Abhijit Bose as first India head
Amidst growing pressure from the Indian government, Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has appointed Abhijit Bose as its first-ever India head. Bose, who is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Ezetap, will join WhatsApp in early 2019. According to an official statement, "Bose will build WhatsApp's first full country team outside of California" and will be based out of Gurugram. Here's more about him.
Abhijit Bose, a graduate of Harvard Business School and Cornell University, had co-founded electronic payments firm Ezetap in 2011. Before that, he held executive positions with Intuit GoConnect, JiGrahak (ngpay) and Oracle Corporation. According to Bose's LinkedIn profile, he has "seventeen years of experience in product management, product marketing, and business development with expertise in software and mobile markets".
WhatsApp has said that Bose and his team in India will focus on helping small and medium businesses grow better, adding that the company has 1 million users of its business products. "Abhijit Bose knows what it takes to build meaningful partnerships that can serve businesses across India," said Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer of WhatsApp.
"WhatsApp is special and can be a major partner for financial inclusion and economic growth in India. It's not only how so many families stay in touch, but increasingly it's how businesses are engaging with their customers," said Bose. "WhatsApp can positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of Indians, allowing them to actively engage and benefit from the new digital economy".
Bose's appointment comes weeks after the central government-WhatsApp meeting in October. During this meeting, WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels informed IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the company had "incorporated a local unit in India and operation will begin soon". Previously, the two met in August when the NDA government asked WhatsApp to set up a local unit and curb fake news.
I requested CEO Whatsapp Chris Daniels to set up a grievance officer in India; establish a corporate entity in India comply with Indian laws. He assured me that #Whatsapp will soon take steps on all these counts. pic.twitter.com/0RoxQuSwSQ— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) August 21, 2018
Recently, WhatsApp appointed Komal Lahiri, who is based in US, as its first Grievance Officer for India. During the August meeting, the government had asked WhatsApp to appoint a "grievance officer in India" and find a solution to "trace the origin of fake messages".