Twitter India, which lost most of its senior management team over the past few months, reported a threefold increase in India revenue for the year ended 31 March. It is still a marginal participant in India’s online advertising that is dominated by Google and Facebook.
For the year to March 2016, Twitter Communications India Pvt. Ltd’s revenue rose to Rs42.7 crore from Rs13.27 crore in the previous year, according to documents posted with the ministry of corporate affairs. Twitter also managed to eke out a meagre profit from its Indian operations. Net profit rose to Rs3.5 crore for fiscal 2016 from Rs1.1 crore in the previous year.
Still, India accounted for a paltry 0.29% of the $2.21 billion Twitter generated globally in the same period. The India numbers also underscore that Twitter has not been able to make a significant dent in the market share battle in the Indian online advertising that is dominated by Google India, which generated over Rs4,000 crore (over $500 million) in revenue in 2014-15.
India’s digital advertising market is expected to grow to more than Rs7,000 crore this calendar year, according to a January report from media agency GroupM, part of global advertising group WPP Plc.
Staff expenses for Twitter in India also rose about three times from last year to about Rs16.5 crore, primarily on the back of some high-profile hires. Twitter has, however, applied the brakes on hiring in India. A Twitter spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the company’s India numbers.
Last week, Mint reported the India business of Twitter Inc. is in disarray after the abrupt departures of six senior executives and the failure of ZipDial, the $35 million acquisition that was meant to drive the social network’s growth in the country, but was junked by chief executive Jack Dorsey.
Apart from Rishi Jaitly and Parminder Singh, whose exits were confirmed by Twitter, four other senior executives at Twitter India have left: ZipDial co-founders Valerie Wagoner and Amiya Pathak; Gaurav Agrawal (head of growth operations); and Nandu Madhava (director of growth).