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Digital India to drive Facebook’s growth, says Umang Bedi

Umang Bedi (extreme right) along with the Facebook India team
Umang Bedi (extreme right) along with the Facebook India team (Facebook)

Under his leadership, Adobe built and grew the digital media business and has signed several clients from sectors like e-commerce, travel, online marketplace and banking. Few of the clients include Flipkart, Indigo, Makemytrip and Jabong.

Adobe's South Asia managing director Umang Bedi is set to replace Kirthiga Reddy as the India managing director of Facebook.

Bedi, who was instrumental in Adobe's growth during his five-year stint, spoke to Hindustan Times shortly after the announcement on Tuesday, and said Facebook would look to ride the Digital India wave coursing through the country.

Under his leadership, Adobe built its digital media business and signed several new clients from sectors such as e-commerce, travel, online marketplace and banking, including Flipkart, Indigo, Makemytrip and Jabong.

An excited Bedi took to Facebook to express his happiness at being chosen for the new role as MD of the social media giant.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

Q. Congrats on the new role. So how soon can we fix an appointment with you at the Facebook India office?

A. Thanks. I will be at Adobe till June 23 and then I will take a small break before joining Facebook in the first or second week of July.

Q. What do you think is going to drive Facebook's growth in India?

A. I can't comment directly on behalf of Facebook as I am yet to join the company.

However, from an Adobe perspective, India is experiencing a digital boom, boosted by government initiatives like Digital India, and the untapped market here is huge, which presents a growth opportunity for Facebook India.

Look at how the digital ecosystem is changing and everybody is moving from offline to online to capture more growth in their individual businesses. Even advertisements, which previously laid a lot of emphasis on TV as a medium, are focusing on the digital space.

Hence we can say the digital media business represents an immense growth opportunity in the country.

Q. Which Facebook product in India do you think makes most sense at present? Is Free Basics going to come back in a new avatar?

A. Again, I can't comment as I have not joined yet but I do think augmented reality and virtual reality are creating quite a buzz right now. Speaking from an Adobe perspective, we have added VR and AR tools in our Adobe content producing platforms to help users and creators make the most of these new formats. As for Free Basics, I would like to reserve my comments.

Q. You said you were going to take a break after June 23. What do you do when you are not leading behemoths like Adobe or Facebook?

A. (Laughs) Other than work, I like travelling and spending time with my family. I have travelled to over 50 countries. I love meeting new people and interacting with them.

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