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Meta ‘optimistic & excited’ about India: Sandhya Devanathan

Meta 'optimistic & excited' about India: Sandhya Devanathan

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Meta ‘optimistic & excited’ about India: Sandhya Devanathan

Amid the grim global economic scenario, social media platform Facebook’s parent firm Meta sees resilience in India although it will not be immune to international events and the company is optimistic about the prospects in the country, company country Head and Vice-President, Sandhya Devanathan said on Tuesday.

The company will continue to develop India specific products and innovations to tap the huge opportunity provided by digitisation here, she said while speaking at the Times Network India Digital Fest here. “The news is grim, isn’t it? Like anytime you see there’s a bank failing, be it SVB or Credit Suisse, interest rates are rising that causes more turmoil in the market, capital markets (are) drying up, VC funding drying up… So, I think the macroeconomic situation suddenly certainly looks grim,” she said.

She was responding to a query on the impact of global economic downturn and the drying up of funds and investments in the start-up ecosystem and the Indian tech sector. “… and it would be a fallacy to think that India will be immune to everything that’s happening globally,” Devanathan added. She further said, “but what I see is actually a tale of two cities. I see a story of resilience in India and I think that’s powered by a bunch of things, economic resilience, the digital governance, which is enabling inclusion for millions of people and the very strong and robust startup ecosystem.”

Even as there are global headwinds, she said, “We remain very optimistic and excited about what’s happening in India… we actually see the role that we can play during this period is really around upskilling and training and supporting more Indians to own livelihoods.” When asked about Meta’s plans for developing India specific products and innovations, citing the example of WhatsApp and JioMart tie-up that allows WhatsApp users to browse the JioMart catalog and shop, Devanathan said it was “definitely an India specific product and we remain invested and excited about the India opportunity”. The company connects 3.7 billion globally and “improving access to technology for everyone to our platforms” is something that “we hold dear to our heart”, she added.

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