Kirthiga Reddy joins Soft­Bank Vi­sion Fund

The New Indian Express - - BUSINESS -

FOR­MER Face­book In­dia head Kirthiga Reddy has joined Soft­Bank In­vest­ment Ad­vis­ers, which over­sees the Ja­panese firm’s $100 bil­lion Vi­sion Fund, as its first ven­ture part­ner. Reddy will be based out of Soft­Bank’s Sil­i­con Val­ley of­fice and will work with se­nior manag­ing part­ner Deep Nishar.

Reddy, 46, said her fo­cus will be fron­tier tech­nolo­gies such as Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence, ro­bot­ics, health, In­ter­net of Things and more. “I look for­ward to con­tribut­ing to their mis­sion to pos­i­tively shape the fu­ture by seek­ing to back the bold­est, most trans­for­ma­tive and op­ti­mistic ideas of to­day,” Reddy said.

Prior to Soft­Bank, Reddy had spent eight years at Face­book, mostly as manag­ing direc­tor for its In­dia busi­ness. She was also the first em­ployee of the so­cial me­dia gi­ant in In­dia and has played a cru­cial role in es­tab­lish­ing the com­pany in the coun­try. Reddy has also worked with such as Sil­i­con Graph­ics and Mo­torola. How­ever, her de­par­ture from In­dia made more head­lines than any of her past en­deav­ours in a highly suc­cess­ful ca­reer. On Fe­bru­ary 12, 2016, she an­nounced step­ping down as Face­book In­dia manag­ing direc­tor, a day af­ter clos­ing down its con­tro­versy-rid­den Free Ba­sics pro­gramme.

Tele­com reg­u­la­tor TRAI and In­dian gov­ern­ment had come down hard on the pro­gramme, with the reg­u­la­tor, af­ter months of con­sul­ta­tion, barred op­er­a­tors from charg­ing dis­crim­i­na­tory rates for In­ter­net ac­cess based on con­tent.

Reddy, how­ever, cited per­sonal rea­sons to move to the US.

“It’s a unique mo­ment in time to join Soft­Bank, learn from Deep and the tal­ented Soft­Bank team and help shape the next set of trans­for­ma­tive com­pa­nies. So ex­cited!” Reddy said on her ap­point­ment.

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