Rajan Anandan, the Vice President of Google’s Southeast Asia and India operations, is leaving the company after more than eight years with the firm, the company said on Tuesday. Google added that it is looking for a replacement for Anandan’s position, and Vikas Agnihotri, country director of sales, will take on the responsibility in the interim for Google India. Anandan will stay at Google till the end of April, a person familiar with the matter said.
Anandan’s departure comes just a few months after Karim Temsamani, head of Asia Pacific (APAC) at Google, also left the company.
In a separate announcement, news emerged that Anandan is joining venture capital (VC) firm Sequoia Capital India, according to Shailendra J. Singh, a managing director at Sequoia Capital. Anandan will be the seventh managing director at the renowned VC company’s Indian arm. Sequoia Capital India closed a $695 million funding round late last year.
Anandan will focus on developing Surge, an accelerator program Sequoia India launched early this year to focus on identifying and funding early-stage startups, “into the world’s top scale-up program for startups by acting as an investment advisor and mentor to the program’s founders,” Singh said.
Even as Asian markets, in general, do not make a significant contribution to Google’s bottom line, the company has grown increasingly focused on developing products and services that aim to solve local problems to remove some of the barriers that are hindering growth in these markets. As a result, Google has courted hundreds of millions of users in India and other Asian markets.
8 amazing years. 850million internet users across India and SEA. Many billions of revenue and fastest growing region in the world. Incredible team that thinks big and executes superbly. Thank you @GoogleIndia #GoogleSEA. Loved every minute.
— Rajan Anandan (@RajanAnandan) April 2, 2019
In a statement, Scott Beaumont, President of Google Asia Pacific, said, “We are grateful to Rajan for his huge contribution to Google over the past eight years. His entrepreneurial zeal and leadership has helped grow the overall internet ecosystem in India and Southeast Asia, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures.”
A veteran figure in the industry, Anandan has also become a major figure in Asia’s startup ecosystem, having made investments in dozens of companies in his personal capacity in recent years.
Anandan said at an event last year that his investments are focused largely on early-stage startups. He has also said that he does not mind taking major risks, as long as a startup has assembled a good team and is hoping to solve a major problem. Some of his investments include cybersecurity firm Lucideus, fintech startup Monsoon CreditTech, healthcare startup PregBuddy, education start-up Stoodnt, IoT startup Zenatix, and matchmaking app Inclov. In 2016, he also joined BOV Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund for Sri Lankan startups.
Prior to joining Google in 2011, Sri Lankan born Anandan served as a managing director of Microsoft India for two years, and as a vice president and country manager of Dell India. Anandan is also currently the chairman of IAMAI, an industry body in India, and is a member of Indian Angel Network, a group of investors who focus on early-stage startups.
“The addition of Rajan, who is one of the top Internet leaders in the region, underscores our commitment to the early-stage ecosystem across the region,” Singh said.