Who Is Sandhya Devanathan? Meet Meta India’s New Business Head!

Meta has appointed Sandhya Devanathan as the new head of its business in India. The development follows a slew of high-profile departures from the company in the last fortnight.

According to Meta India, Devanathan will assume her role from 1 January 2023. She will be reporting to Meta Asia-Pacific (APAC) Vice-President Dan Neary.

“I’m pleased to welcome Sandhya as our new leader for India. Sandhya has a proven track record of scaling businesses, building exceptional and inclusive teams, driving product innovation and building strong partnerships. We are thrilled to have her lead Meta’s continued growth in India,” Meta Chief Business Officer Marne Levine said in a statement.

What Meta India expects Sandhya Devanathan to do

Sandhya Meta India
Devanathan (R) at the kick-off event of Facebook’s Singapore Startup Station with IMDA in 2019. (Image: Courtesy of IMDA Singapore/@IMDAsg/Twitter)

The statement had some words about what the company aims to achieve in India and how it sees Devanathan contributing to it.

The company said that she’ll “focus on bringing the organization’s business and revenue priorities together to serve partners and clients, while continuing to support the long-term growth of our business and commitment to India.”

As per the statement, Devanathan, who is among the most prominent Indian women at the helm of global businesses, is expected to strengthen Meta’s relationships with brands, advertisers, creators and partners in India to drive revenue growth in key channels.

Sandhya Devanathan’s educational and professional background

Devanathan completed her MBA from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University in 2000. She has since accumulated 22 years of experience in banking, payments and technology.

As per her Linkedin profile, Devanathan saw her career start with Citi in 2000. She worked for the financial giant in various roles for over nine years in India, the Philippines and the US.

She joined Standard Chartered Bank in 2009 and worked with the company for six years, mostly in Singapore.

She joined Meta (then known simply as Facebook) in 2016. After serving as the country managing director for Singapore and business head for Vietnam, she became the company’s vice-president of gaming for Meta APAC — a position she currently holds.

Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, also credits her for leading the company’s e-commerce initiatives in South East Asia.

Apart from her key professional roles, Devanathan is the executive sponsor for Women@APAC at Meta. She has also spearheaded the company’s push at widening diversity in the gaming industry through Meta’s Play Forward initiative.

Devanathan is also on the global board of Pepper Financial Services.

Roles outside of finance and Big Tech

According to her LinkedIn profile, Devanathan is also on the board of some other organisations in Singapore.

She is a board member of the National Library Board in Singapore as well as a member of the Board of Advisors, College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University.

She has been on the steering committee — Digital Readiness Council Singapore, Ministry of Communications and Information for a period of two years from 2018 to 2020.

Has been on the advisory board in Asia for Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Singapore and was a council member at Sunpost APAC Ecommerce Advisory Board.

Departure of top names from Meta India

Meta announced on 3 November that country head Ajit Mohan was leaving the company with immediate effect.

On 15 November, Meta India said that Rajiv Aggarwal, public policy director for Meta India, and Abhijit Bose, country head for WhatsApp India, have resigned from their positions.

On the other hand, Meta’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced on 9 November that the company would be laying off 11,000 of its employees, constituting 13 percent of the workforce. He also said that hiring will be frozen till March 2023.

(Main and Featured images: Meta)

This story was first published in Lifestyle Asia India

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