Bengaluru/New Delhi: Rajan Anandan, who led Google’s operations in India and South-East Asia, is leaving the company to join Sequoia Capital India. Anandan, who had an eight-year stint at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, will become managing director at Sequoia Capital India, the venture capital firm said in a release on Tuesday.
As the vice-president of Google India and South-East Asia, Anandan was tasked with heading the search giant’s entire India operations. He will remain at Google until the end of April, according to the statement.
Vikas Agnihotri, country director, sales, for Google India will temporarily assume Anandan’s responsibility until a replacement is appointed.
In his new role, Anandan will help scale up Surge, Sequoia’s India-focused accelerator for early-stage technology startups. His move to Sequoia India comes just six months after the firm announced the closure of its $695 million sixth fund last August.
“We are grateful to Rajan for his huge contribution to Google over the past eight years. His entrepreneurial zeal and leadership have helped grow the overall internet ecosystem in India and South-East Asia, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures," said Scott Beaumont, president, Google Asia Pacific in a release.
Prior to Google, Anandan worked as managing director for Microsoft India between 2008 and 2010. He also held executive roles at multinational corporations such as Dell India and McKinsey and Co. in Chicago.
Anandan is also a prolific angel investor in the Indian startup ecosystem. He has earlier funded startups such as Dunzo, Rapido, Capillary Technologies, Instamojo and LetsVenture.
“Rajan’s deep understanding of technology, significant operating expertise and track record of growing tech businesses across the region will help Surge founders scale and build the transformational businesses of tomorrow," said Sequoia India in a statement.
Other than his leadership role at Google, Anandan was chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), and was well invested in India’s startup ecosystem.
“Knowing Rajan’s deep commitment to supporting young tech startups, this seems like a perfect union. Sequoia and entrepreneurs in their network will find immense value just as we do with his leadership at TiE Delhi-NCR. A great team leader, he leaves a rich legacy at Google. Truly a global leader, energizing and adding value to every organization that he has been associated with," said Geetika Dayal, executive director, TiE Delhi-NCR.
Anandan, according to Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst, founder and chief executive of Greyhound Research, has “left big shoes to fill and it now remains to be seen who will take Google to the next level".
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“He (Anandan) was a big catalyst in developing India’s internet ecosystem. He worked closely with the government and other stakeholders to launch products tailored to India’s needs. For example, the Internet Saathi programme and the Railway WiFi project. His closeness to startups, and awareness of the startup eco-system put him miles ahead of others," he said.
Prasanto K. Roy, tech writer and policy consultant, agreed: “After a long innings, steering multinationals through differing phases in their India stories, Rajan is clearly, finally, moving to his passion—the startups ecosystem and investment arena. Rajan had a big contribution to Google’s spectacular growth, to internet penetration in India, and major projects like RailWire, which really brought free high speed public broadband over WiFi for the first time," Roy said.