The managing director of Facebook India, Kirthiga Reddy, has announced that she will be leaving her post as the head of the company’s global sales team in the country.
This news comes in at a time when Facebook is facing issues in India after its Free Basics program was shuttered for what locals believed was a violation of net neutrality laws. Kirthiga made this announcement on Friday, which means that she will be leaving a position she has held for the past six years. Her official departure time will be between six to twelve months from now, she added.
Facebook has been on the hunt of new and unexploited markets and with its Free Basics program, the leading social networking company in the world thought it had all its matters solved. India is one of the fastest-growing markets and with everyone able to access the entirety of the company’s services for free, it was a good move by Facebook to exploit these markets and add more to its already bulging revenue.
While CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s emphasis has always been that Free Basics is meant to offer free internet connection services to those in places without proper infrastructure, players in India think otherwise.
Nonetheless, the company claims that Kirthiga’s move has nothing to do with the recent backlash the company received in the country over its services. In fact, her services to the company are not in any case related to Free Basics, Facebook claims. However, her sudden desire to step down casts doubts on the company’s efforts in the country.
India has more than 130 million Facebook users
India alone represents one of the biggest markets for Facebook. The country is home to at least 130 million users, something that Facebook thought can be boosted by the free access to the internet. As mentioned earlier, India is a developing market and Facebook is aware of this. It poses as a great market for the company, especially considering the 1.25 billion population the country has, in its efforts to boost its ad business.
Kirthiga’s role in the company is to focus on major advertising partners targeting Indian users of Facebook. She also plays a role in helping create new advertisement products as well as services.
Facebook said that it will be replacing her, but it doesn’t mean she won’t be working with the company anymore. In fact, Kirthiga says that she is looking at possible roles she can take up at the company’s Menlo Park, California headquarters.