Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Niharika Kapoor: YouTube's first female vertical head, and the youngest

In the world of digital content creators and social media influencers, meet the person who discovers and grooms new talent for YouTube India

Rajiv Singh
Published: Feb 3, 2021 02:01:31 PM IST
Updated: Mar 19, 2021 08:32:50 PM IST

Niharika Kapoor: YouTube's first female vertical head, and the youngest
Niharika Kapoor | 28
APAC Lead, YouTube Community & Social Media Support Operations

Let’s start from 2013. Freshly-minted economics grad Niharika Kapoor joins Google India as associate account strategist as a campus placement from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi. The job involved providing support to Google advertisers—small and medium business—to build their online businesses. After two years, Kapoor is moved to YouTube as a partner manager for YouTube India (creator and artist development team). The mandate is managing a portfolio of upcoming creators and hosting scaled events and workshops for content strategy and revenue development. In 2017, she gets promoted as manager. Last year, Kapoor dons a new role of APAC (Asia Pacific) lead, focusing on YouTube creators and users.

 “ She (Kapoor) is the first female vertical business lead, and youngest ever for YouTube India,” says Marc Lefkowitz, director, YouTube Partner Development & Management, APAC. Rising from an individual contributor to management in just a few years, Kapoor has been a star performer across the organisation. In addition to building an incredibly successful team and culture, Lefkowitz underlines, Kapoor has been pivotal in launching some of the most innovative programmes in the region, including NextUp (original, gaming, artists, and women to watch), first co-branded NextUp with L’Oreal, and FanFest. “Niharika is a strong advocate for underserved communities, including our female and rural creators,” he says.

The young achiever, though, prefers to stay grounded. Both success and failure, she says, are opportunities for growth and learning. “I believe in taking a moment to celebrate success.” Failure too, she lets on, is part of success and there isn’t a finality to it. It’s just a stepping stone to get to the next milestone. “I strongly believe that the harder I work, the luckier I get,” she says. Working hard is the only part of the equation that can be controlled. “So better to just focus on that,” she smiles. Life at Google is about thriving in ambiguity and constantly innovating.

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 For Kapoor, the creative journey has just begun. “I see myself as part of the digital media ecosystem, supporting new users and creators in their journeys,” she adds.

Niharika Kapoor: YouTube's first female vertical head, and the youngest

(This story appears in the 12 February, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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