Umang Bedi’s first 100 days at Facebook India

Umang Bedi, Facebook India and South Asia MD, says that India was the second largest market for Facebook and a strategic one


Umang Bedi’s focus has been on growing the business, building engagement and partnerships by focusing on verticals, brands and agencies.
Umang Bedi’s focus has been on growing the business, building engagement and partnerships by focusing on verticals, brands and agencies.

New Delhi: Umang Bedi has had plenty to do in his first 100 days as managing director of Facebook India and South Asia. He has been on 75 flights across India and the globe and meeting over 100 brands and agencies in a bid to make Facebook a loved and trusted brand, driving relevance and value.

At a media round table in Gurgaon on Wednesday, Bedi repeated that India was the second largest market for Facebook and a strategic one. No wonder, his mission for Facebook India is all about making Facebook relevant for business. His focus has been on growing the business, building engagement and partnerships by focusing on verticals, brands and agencies. “Facebook India contributed $4 billion and 335,000 jobs to India through our marketing, platform and connectivity efforts, (according to a Deloitte 2015 report),” said Bedi.

Bedi spoke of how brands big and small from Snapdeal to Limeroad have been leveraging the power of Facebook and its family of apps and ad formats to grow their businesses. Moreover, the focus for the first time is on real business outcomes that can be measured by third parties like Millward Brown and Nielsen. “This data shows that Facebook is a cost-efficient medium for brand motivation, audience outcomes and sales outcomes,” added Bedi, citing an example of Tata Housing that sold 250 homes in Goa via Facebook in one single day.

The Facebook India momentum is growing considerably as is evident from the numbers. Bedi shared the latest India statistics as of third quarter that show that India has 166 million monthly active users, 159 million mobile active users, 85 million daily active users and 81 million mobile daily active users.

On the issue of fake news, Bedi said: “We take this very seriously and are taking measures to keep our platform safe and secure. All the details are in Mark’s detailed post.” He briefly touched upon Express Wi-fi, a sustainable development effort where Facebook is partnering with entrepreneurs and telcos. The project is in the pilot stage so no further details were available.

“My journey is only 1% finished,” concluded Bedi. Clearly, he has miles to go before he sleeps.

Some Facebook India facts:

—India has one of the highest percentage of people accessing Facebook monthly, on mobile (95% for both monthly and daily) in APAC.

—Facebook is available in 12 Indian languages

—In India, over 80 million people use Groups each month

—India is one of the top 5 adopters of Workplace—enterprise version of Facebook— (India, Norway, US, UK, France)

—Since March 2015, Blueprint eLearning (training modules for advertising) has hit 1 million enrollment. India ranks as the second largest country signing onto Blueprint. The top five countries include the US, India, Egypt, Brazil and the UK.

—India is one of the top countries creating Slideshows and Canvas (types of ad formats to help businesses reach people in emerging and high-growth markets)

—India is the largest country for developers building with Facebook outside the US

—Over 80% of top-grossing apps in India are integrated with Facebook

—2 million SMB (small and medium businesses) pages on Facebook in India as of October 2015

—Over 2.4 billion interactions generated between businesses and people in India

—More than 30% of active SMB pages on Facebook are women owned.

—SMB Boost (boost your business programme for SMBs to help them grow their business) has trained over 7,500 small businesses, 3,500 of which are women entrepreneurs

—41% of people on Facebook are connected to at least one business in a foreign country

—59% of people on Facebook in India are connected to at least one SMB.

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