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Facebook India MD Umang Bedi logs out, plans to start own venture

Sandeep Bhushan, director consumer and media for South Asia, named interim managing director

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Umang Bedi
Umang Bedi

India Managing Director has stepped down from the post about 16 months after he joined the social media company. Sandeep Bhushan, director, consumer and media for South Asia at Facebook, has been appointed the interim managing director, the company said on Tuesday. 

Bedi joined from in July 2016, at a time when the company’s grand plans to launch its ‘in India’ project had been halted by the telecom regulator over the net neutrality issue.

Sources said Bedi was likely to start a technology-based venture soon. 

“We confirm that will be leaving his role at at the end of this year. He’s built a really strong team and business during his time with us, and we wish him all the best,” said in a statement. Bedi was not immediately available for comment.

According to sources close to the company, Bedi was given the task of salvaging the brand image of the company and come up with solutions to generate new streams of revenue as well as launch variations of or in India.

He was instrumental in launching another product under its programme, The company tied up with to launch as many as 20,000 hotspots, the term for a physical location where people can get internet access, typically using Wi-Fi, via a wireless local area network.

Unlike that provided access to selected websites for free, works on a ‘paid’ model. The access is not restricted to any particular website. Users can log into and buy daily, weekly or monthly data packs. India is the second-largest user base for globally, after the US. 

Bedi is the second top executive to quit India in the past two years. His exit comes at a critical juncture when is facing a global backlash for being used as a platform to disseminate In the US, it has been accused of selling advertisements to Russians to influence the

In India, launched early this month an online and offline marketing campaign educating users to identify on its platform and on the Internet.

Bedi also put a chunk of its resources in the digital advertisement space.

 “The opportunity on social is focused on driving three types of outcomes for our original equipment manufacturers (OEM) advertisers in that space. We at can provide 5 per cent incremental reach over television at one-seventh the cost, which is an efficient way of giving additional reach to the customers. It is a targeted personalised reach,” Bedi told Business Standard in an earlier interview.

Bedi took over Facebook’s India business from Kirthiga Reddy, who moved to the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, US. Prior to joining Facebook, he had served as the managing director of the South Asia region at Adobe.

First Published: Wed, October 11 2017. 00:13 IST