Snap bulks up India team as current head Durgesh Kaushik leaves

Mumbai: Snap Inc, the parent company of ephemeral messaging app Snapchat had made key hires for its growth, advertising partnerships, and augmented reality (AR) teams in India as part of its increasing focus on the country.

Durgesh Kaushik, director of India and South Asia market development, will be moving on from Snap, and Lakshya Malu will take over as the interim head.

“Snap’s localization and engagement efforts in India over the past years have been well received across our community, advertising partners and creators. Durgesh (Kaushik) helped build this foundation and we are excited to continue our growth momentum with our new Indian colleagues..,” Malu said.

The former head of India growth at Facebook’s parent company Meta, Gaurav Jain has joined the Snap team as head of Asia Pacific (APAC) business expansion to lead partner and direct sales teams. Jain is responsible for driving revenue growth by offering solutions to brands, agencies, and sales partners.

Other key hires include former Meta and Bytedance employees, Aishwarya Rao and Vikash Pandey as global business expansion leads and Sachit Prakash, who will be designated as the company’s global business expansion associate. Collectively, they will be responsible for working with large advertisers in India.

This comes on the back of Snap
reaching the 100 million monthly active users (MAU) mark here, making India the second-largest market after the US for the social media major, Evan Spiegel, the chief executive of Snap, told ET in October last year.

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“India has emerged as a major growth market in recent quarters and Snap is really excited about building its business in the country. To this effect, Snap has recently made a number of new talent hires to bolster the Snap India team’s capabilities,” the company said in a statement. Ragini Verma has joined to head growth of Spotlight in the region and Satyajit Swain will lead local partnerships in his role as market development manager in eastern and southern India markets.

“We are really excited about the momentum and the growth in India, and I know that with our AR platform, in particular, it’s been amazing to see so much enthusiasm from the community there,” cofounder and CTO,
Bobby Murphy told ET in an interaction earlier this week.

The Santa Monica, California-based company attributes its growth in India to its augmented reality (AR) initiatives, as it looks to diversify its revenue pool beyond advertising. To further boost these efforts the company has hired Hardik Shah, Snap’s first official lens creator in India joins Snap to lead AR Indian developer relations. Shah will scale the AR initiatives of the Snap Lens Network of creators in India which has seen a growth of 200% since September 2020, the company said.

Last year, Snap announced a long-term strategic partnership with Walmart-owned Flipkart to develop AR experiences for the platform for things like gaming. It also has partnerships with beauty e-tailers Sugar Cosmetics and The Good Glamm Group for its AR products. Snap says AR sees a 94% higher conversion rate when consumers interact with products using the technology in India.

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