After almost an year, social networking and media giant Facebook has finally decided on the person who will head its India operations. He is Ajit Mohan, current CEO of Star-India owned video streaming platform Hotstar, and will be taking charge as Facebook India's Vice President (VP) and Managing Director (MD) in early 2019. The post of Facebook's India Head had been lying vacant since Umang Bedi left Facebook in October 2017.
According to the company, Mohan will be responsible for Facebook's India operational strategy and driving the company's continued investments in the country. “I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country,” said Mohan in a public statement.
2003-05: MBA (Finance), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
2005: Joined McKinsey & Company as Management Consultant
2008: Became a McKinsey Global Institute Fellow
2010: Joined The Wall Street Journal as a columnist
2012: Started his stint with Star TV Network as a Senior Vice President
2015: Took up the role of President & Head at Hotstar
2016: Declared as CEO of Hotstar
Facebook expects to leverage Mohan's expertise in the video streaming service industry, highlighted by the company's purchase of rights to live stream all of Spanish football’s La Liga matches in India. As a matter of fact, under Mohan's leadership Hotstar made a world record of concurrent viewership of a single online broadcaster for a sole event during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Mohan will be heading Facebook India at a time when the company has been facing multiple challenges throughout the globe, particularly those related to user data privacy and widespread fake news on the social platform. The situation in India became critical earlier this year when Facebook admitted that data privacy of about 5,62,000 lakh Indians was compromised by a British political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica. Facebook's other challenges at the moment remain with delay in the roll-out of its payment platform, and ensuring that the company does not fall short of complying with the data localization norms set by government of India.
Mohan started his career with international management consulting firm, Arthur D. Little in 1997. He later moved to McKinsey and Co. as a consultant in 2005 after finishing his MBA from The Wharton School. As a Fellow of McKinsey Global Institute which he joined in 2008, he co-authored India's Urban Awakening: Building Inclusive Cities, Sustaining Economic Growth. After working with The Wall Street Journal as a columnist for a year, he found a leadership role with Star India Network as a Senior Vice President in 2012. In 2016, he was made the CEO of Star Network's video streaming service, Hotstar, which had been launched just an year prior.