The Hindu Business Line

Rajan Anandan quits Google India; move to VC firm Sequoia enthuses start-up sector

- PRIYANKA PANI

Rajan Anandan, responsibl­e for scaling up Google’s India operations to over $1 billion in revenues, and instrument­al in building the country’s internet growth story at multiple levels, is quitting the company.

Anandan had joined Google in 2011, when the company was not doing too well on revenues and India’s internet journey was still nascent. Eight years hence, both the company and the initiative­s championed by Anandan are well on the growth trajectory. “Rajan had moonshot ideas on how to drive India’s internet growth. From WiFi at railway stations to getting

SMEs online, several initiative­s were started under Rajan,” said a Google executive who worked closely with him.

In May, Anandan will be joining venture capital (VC) firm Sequoia Capital India as its Managing Director, marking his entry as a full-time investor and mentor to thousands of entreprene­urs in the country’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem.

He will be focussing on the VC’s start-up accelerato­r Surge, launched in January, to turn it into a global scale-up programme. Surge picks up 40 early stage start-ups in a year and invests around $1.5 million in each. It plans to invest over $100 million in this programme over four or five years.

Anandan has been investing Rajan Anandan in, and mentoring, start-ups in his personal capacity. According to data provided by Tracxn, he has invested in about 80 start-ups since 2007.

Debjani Ghosh, Nasscom President, tweeted: “Amazing win for the India start up ecosystem this!”

Indian Angel Network’s President and co-founder Padmaja Ruparelals­o welcomed the news: “Rajan has been an early investor @ IAN...With his fulltime focus as an investor, he brings a big boost to Indian and Asian startup ecosystems.”

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