Twitter was already without a country head in a market which will soon be its second biggest after the U.S., and now one more top-notch executive is leaving the company. Last week, the micro-blogging giant said that amid slowing growth, it will cut its global headcount by more than 9%, and it looks like its Indian division has taken this very seriously.
Why the executives left?
A few days ago, Rishi Jaitly, Twitter’s India head, announced his intention of leaving the social network after a four-year stint. Now, two days later, Parminder Singh, managing director for the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and India, declared his resignation as well, according to a Quartz report. Maya Hari, senior director of product strategy and sales for the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa regions, will now handle Singh’s responsibilities.
Twitter has been struggling to make ad revenue in India. Several who resigned from the company, wanted to make some changes to the platform. They thought those changes would aid the tech giant in bringing in digital advertising revenue.
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A source familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times, “That would have changed Twitter’s identity – something that the board didn’t want.”
Facebook and Google account for 75% of India’s massive digital advertising market, according to Greyhound Research. Twitter, along with other digital advertising platforms like InMobi, are fighting to get a share of the remaining 25% of the market. Twitter’s share of ad spend is actually in the single digits.
India a very important market for Twitter
Twitter has an employee base of around 3,900 across its 35 offices worldwide, and about 79% of them are outside the U.S. The social network does not share the number of employees in India. India, which has about 400 million ‘”netizens,” is a market that tech firms across the world cannot ignore. By 2020, the number is estimated to grow 75%, and hence, the country has seen huge bets being placed by technology giants.
In January 2015, Twitter became one of the first U.S. tech firms to buy an Indian startup, notes Quartz. It acquired Bengaluru-based “missed call” marketing firm ZipDial for around $30 million. The micro-blogging firm opened a research and development in Bengaluru a month later. Twitter officials said at the time that the team at this office, the first such facility outside the U.S., would not just be a back office for the U.S. operations but would make new products for emerging markets.