Rajan Anandan quits as Google India head, to join Sequoia Capital to mentor startups

The move is seen as logical and a 'long time coming' for Anandan, who has been a prolific startup investor

g_114357_rajananandan_bg_280x210.jpgRajan Anandan, Vice President for Google south east Asia and India

It “has been a long time coming,” Rajan Anandan agreed with a well-wisher on Twitter, referring to the news of his move from Google to Sequoia Capital. Anandan, vice-president for Google south-east Asia and India, is leaving the company at the end of the month to run an accelerator at Sequoia Capital’s Indian unit, and also to advise the VC firm on investments in startups, as part of its senior leadership.

Digital economy in India and south-east Asia was pegged at $125 billion in 2018, and is growing at over 30 percent year on year by revenue, Anandan wrote in a tweet. The addressable market by 2023 is projected at $500 billion, so “there simply has not been a better time to startup in India and south east Asia,” he continued, adding that he was “super excited and honoured to be joining the Sequoia India family.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Rajan Anandan to the leadership team at Sequoia India as investment advisor and mentor to the ‘surge ahead’ founders. Rajan’s depth of experience and expertise will be invaluable in this journey,” Sequoia Capital’s Indian unit tweeted, confirming his move. The ‘surge ahead’ refers to a programme that Sequoia started to support early-stage startups.

Even before his work at Google, Anandan (50) was respected as an angel investor, supporting Indian entrepreneurs before startups became fashionable in the country. He has invested in some 80 startups over the last 10 years, according to a report in the Economic Times.

“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,” Geetika Dayal, executive director at the Delhi-NCR unit of the entrepreneurs network The Indus Entrepreneurs, popularly called TiE, said in an emailed statement.

Anandan who joined Google from Microsoft, has previously worked at Dell and McKinsey & Co., where he was a partner. He has an MSc in manufacturing and systems engineering from Stanford University and a BSc in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is widely credited with the internet search giant’s growth in India over the more than eight years that he led the company’s operations in India.

"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 south-east Asia, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures,” Scott Beaumont, president, Google Asia Pacific, said in a statement from Google. Vikas Agnihotri, country director, sales, will take on the responsibility in the interim for Google India, while the company looks for a permanent replacement.

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