Three factors that shaped Rajan Anandan’s decision to exit Google

One of the factors that prompted Anandan to step down as VP for Google South East Asia and India was the exit of his previous boss Karim Temsamani.

by Ruhail Amin
Published - Apr 3, 2019 9:00 AM Updated: Apr 3, 2019 9:00 AM
RajanAnandan

The news about Rajan Anandan’s exit from Google has come as a surprise for many, especially because of the fact that he has been at the helm of driving Google India’s growth and taking initiatives that helped the company find a strong foothold in the local market.

While Anandan’s next move of joining Sequoia Capital as its Managing Director has been announced, for the Sri Lankan Tamil, who has worked with Google for over eight years, there were three big factors that shaped his decision to exit Google.

Sources close to the development have told exchange4media that one of the factors was the exit of his previous boss, Karim Temsamani, President of Asia-Pacific for Google, who quit the company in 2018. It is well known that Anandan shared a great professional camaraderie with Temsamani, who moved to Singapore from Australia to head the company’s Asia-Pacific operations in 2013, but then quit in 2018.

Besides helming Google’s India operations, Anandan has been an active angel investor in over 45 early-stage technology companies. This is being cited as the second big factor that prompted him to step down and focus on nurturing the early stage start-up ecosystem for which he has been passionate for long. At his next stop Sequoia Capital, Anandan will be managing a bigger investment portfolio.

Some of the start-ups that Anandan has invested in include cybersecurity firm Lucideus, fintech start-up Monsoon CreditTech, healthcare start-up PregBuddy, education start-up Stoodnt, IoT start-up Zenatix and matchmaking app Inclov. In 2016, he also joined BOV Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund company for Sri Lankan start-ups. He also heads the Delhi chapter of non-profit organization The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) that helps start-ups raise funds and network. 

The final factor, according to our sources, is the appointment of Scott Beaumont as President of Google Asia Pacific just a few weeks back. Beaumont earlier handled Google’s China and Korean operations. Sources have revealed that Anandan was also a top contender for the job, which eventually went to Beaumont and this led to his decision to step down.

On his part, Anandan took to Twitter and spoke about his decision to step down in these words, “8 amazing years. 850million internet users across India and SEA. Many billions of revenue and fastest growing region in the world. Incredible team that thinks big and executes superbly. Thank you @GoogleIndia #GoogleSEA. Loved every minute.”
Beaumont in a statement said, “We are grateful to Rajan for his huge contribution to Google over the past eight years. His entrepreneurial zeal and leadership has helped grow the overall internet ecosystem in India and Southeast Asia, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures.”

For now, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director of Sales, has taken over as interim India Head. There are reports that Caesar Sengupta, who leads Google's project Next Billion Users, is likely to succeed Anandan.

We reached out to Anandan, Temsamani and Beaumont for their reactions on the story, but did not get their comments till the filing of this report.

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