<b>Rajan Anandan</b>, Managing Director, Google India

In the last 18 months, we have seen that usage of internet in India has become more utility-based. E-commerce last year crossed the $6 billion mark in India of which $5 billion was for travel &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 11, 2012 12:00 AM
<b>Rajan Anandan</b>, Managing Director, Google India

In the last 18 months, we have seen that usage of internet in India has become more utility-based. E-commerce last year crossed the $6 billion mark in India of which $5 billion was for travel                      

Rajan Anandan is the MD and VP for Sales and Operations for Google in India. Prior to Google, Anandan was the MD of Microsoft India, responsible for all aspects of Microsoft’s software, Microsoft OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and services business in India. Under his leadership, Microsoft India was recognised as a leading subsidiary among emerging markets worldwide.

Before joining Microsoft, Anandan was the VP and Country General Manager of Dell in India, where he grew the Dell business from $250 million to over $800 million and also held several leadership roles including the Executive Assistant to Chairman Michael Dell.

He has also worked as Partner with McKinsey & Company. He holds an MSc from Stanford and a BSc from MIT.

Here are excerpts from Rahul Dubey's conversation with him:

Q. Apart from the 100 million internet users in India and growth of mobile and smartphones, what have been the key factors in the growth of the internet industry?

In the last 18 months, we have seen that usage of internet in India has become more utility-based. E-commerce last year crossed $6 billion mark in India of which $5 billion was travel and $1 billion was non-travel. Today 35 per cent of all airline tickets are bought online and ten per cent of all hotel bookings are made online.

A trend that we will witness is two forms of media i.e. video and mobile will see large and explosive growth. If you see the online video space, its reach is almost 40 million users; out of which close to 25 million are YouTube users who on an average spend 15 minutes a day on the channel.

Google is focusing on making its products – search, video, social media – interesting and accessible to more and more people. We also want to focus on providing advertising solutions and growing our enterprise business.

Q. What are your key business drivers? In the advertising formats, there is search advertising based on search, ad words and display advertising in which we have four different products. We have Google display network of 50,000 websites wherein we help advertise based on context on these websites. Google display reaches 90 per cent of Indian web users, which is close to 100 million users. Second is YouTube; it has close to 25 million users. Third is mobile display advertising and it is rapidly growing at 100 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Over time, we will also have social marketing on the lines of Facebook on Google Plus.

Q. What kind of investment will Google India make in 2012? All our businesses and products are growing. We are in a hyper growth mode. On a year-on-year basis our display advertising business is growing at a rate of 100 per cent, search advertising at a rate of 60 per cent, enterprise business is growing at 300 per cent and mobile YouTube at 300 per cent. Chrome has become the number one browser. A simple way of how we look at it is that India is the third largest internet market in the world and it is a very, very strategic market for us. We are investing big time on all aspects.

Q. Of late, mobile has been a key area of focus for the entire digital industry. Where do you see the Indian Android market going from here? Google’s role in mobile phones in India is multi-pronged. Android application is the largest operating system in the world in terms of marketshare. We recently announced that we have close to 800,000 new activations a day globally. Clearly, Android makes it seamless, affordable and instant for consumers to get online. All our products work not only on the web, but also on mobile.

Thirdly, we have a platform where you can advertise on an app. For instance, if there are 100,000 apps, a lot of them are free…so how can you advertise on these apps, how can mobile ad network companies as well as developers advertise on apps? That will change the mobile scenario. Our presence in mobile is all-encompassing and as a company it is a huge priority for us.

Q. Facebook is clearly a leader in India and other parts of the world too. How does Google Plus stand out in the social media space? Through Google Plus, we reach out to the closest reality of how we live. The idea is that in real life it’s not 2,000 people in our circle every day. We all have different groups. Google Plus helps to create a social network more in line with our real life.

Q. Through YouTube, videos have been one of the key focus growth area for Google in India. Could you elaborate on your plans for YouTube? In the online video content space, YouTube has 5,000 full length movies and 5,00,000 songs. Almost 90 per cent of Indian music is available on YouTube. If you think about digital advertising in regards to performance and brand building, YouTube is actually great because it is video-based. It has also got three things that TV advertising does not have – rich media, interactive and opt out option for advertisements. If you don’t like an ad, don’t watch it. These three things make online video advertising extraordinarily powerful.

We are still very early in the digital evolution – close to only Rs 1,500 crore. The size of the digital industry is $300 million in a $5.5 billion advertising industry. We are very excited about video advertising.

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