Durgesh Kaushik, the former chief marketing officer of co-working space provider BHIVE, has joined multimedia messaging app Snap Inc. as the head of market development in India, a company statement said.
Kaushik, Snap’s first employee in India, will lead local market development activities, including strategic partnerships, community development and overall ecosystem initiatives that support growth, the company said in a statement. He will initially split his time between Mumbai and Bengaluru.
“We are encouraged by the product-market fit, strong momentum in recent months and the announcement this week that we have completed 100% rollout of our new app for Android. This will be an important lever for accelerating user growth in a market that powers more than 90% of smartphones,” Nana Murugesan, managing director for Snap’s international markets, said in the statement.
Kaushik is a graduate of Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology and previously managed online marketing for Facebook’s advertising business in the EMEA and APAC regions. After his stint at BHIVE, Kaushik co-founded Wishfie, a video debating platform on current affairs, in 2017. The startup had raised capital from angel investor Abhishek Singh, chief executive of Staffopedia, and Tusker Invests, a New York-based angel network. He has also worked with online education startup Edureka and Silicon Valley-based professional services firm Infostretch in the past.
Snap Inc. has shifted its focus to India in search for more users. It appointed Raheel Khursheed, former head of Twitter news for India, as its country expert in October last year. The company then launched a beta version of the app in four vernacular languages—Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Punjabi. Snap also claims it has added more than 10 local content partners to Discover, its content discovery platform, by the end of 2018.
In 2017, Snap came under fire from Indians on social media after their top officials allegedly made uncomplimentary statements. Chief executive officer Evan Spiegel reportedly said he didn’t wish to expand to “poor countries like India and Spain”.