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2014-06-09

Facebook COO\'s first India visit to focus on SMEs, developers

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is scheduled to make her maiden trip to the country as the social networking giant deepens ties in its second-largest market.

Aggressive on tapping the multi-billion dollar opportunity in the Indian small and medium enterprises (SME) market, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is scheduled to make her maiden trip to the country as the social networking giant deepens ties in its second-largest market.

 

Sandberg, who will be in India in the last week of June, is scheduled to meet SMEs in Hyderabad, followed by a media round-table in the national capital next month.

 

"She will be coming to India later this month but we are not in a position to share the details yet," an official from the company said.

 

India is the largest market for Facebook outside the US, with over 100 million users.

 

The company has been aggressively hunting for new avenues to increase advertising revenue and the SME sector in India, which has over 25 million firms, could play a crucial role.

 

Facebook's revenue for the first quarter of 2014 rose to $2.5 billion from $1.46 billion a year ago.

 

Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion - an 82 per cent increase from the same quarter last year - with mobile ads accounting for about 59 per cent.

 

Sandberg is also expected to meet developers at the company's headquarters in Hyderabad.

 

Sandberg, who oversees business operations, including sales and marketing, business development and public policy, may also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is an ardent social media supporter and utilises Facebook and Twitter extensively in his communications, and government officials.

 

Powered by burgeoning smartphone adoption and increasing internet penetration in the country, Facebook has seen a meteoric rise in its user base since setting up its first office in India in 2010 in Hyderabad. The company has already projected that growth will come from mobile as more users in emerging markets, especially India, log on to the site through handheld devices.

 

Set up by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 from a college dorm, Facebook had 1.28 billion users worldwide as of March 31.

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