How Facebook is gearing up for the growth of Indian startups. In conversation with Satyajeet Singh, head of Strategic Product Partnerships at Facebook India
It was a Friday evening spent surrounded by dignitaries from the burgeoning Indian startup ecosystem. Most of the attendees at the 7th edition of YourStory TechSparks were marking out every session that they simply had to attend, and others were busy networking with their favourites. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, the speakers lounge smelled of freshly ground coffee beans and was abuzz with the energy of parallel interviews. While the waiter quickly made a hot cup of cappuccino, my interviewee turned and asked me, “Hey, how was your day?”
Satyajeet Singh, the head of Strategic Product Partnerships at Facebook India, had just entered the room after contributing to a workshop and a talk. The TechSparks workshop was the first event outside the United States where the team announced the new updates to Facebook Analytics. One can really admire how a high-ranking executive in one of the biggest companies in the world can ask after the day of a journalist; that’s the kind of man Satyajeet is.
Speaking exclusively to the YourStory team on the evolving startup world, Satyajeet shared a few insights on how Facebook is gearing up for the revolution to come in the space.
What’s on their mind?
The evolving Indian startup ecosystem is quite a competitive and experimental space. Considering that India is Facebook’s 2nd largest hub for developers, and given the progress of the FbStart programme, the organisation is clearly gearing up to be instrumental in every startup’s growth.
“The Facebook platform has a bunch of free tools that are available for developers to help them build their products faster. FbStart has been a catalyst between a mobile app developer and a startup as well,” says Satyajeet.
Facebook’s pet project, the FbStart programme is a free online programme customised for high potential mobile app startups. If the startup has a significant amount of traction and is looking at monetisation, the programme helps them make that shift. Starting from testing the mobile app for marketing, development, CRM, email marketing and other key processes, the FbStart programme gives users access to over 25 different tools. Further, the programme is divided into an accelerator and a bootstrap programme.
Facebook for women
In 2010, when Krithiga Reddy joined Facebook, she was the first employee of the company in the country. This move by the firm also reaffirmed their supportive nature towards women entrepreneurship in India.
Facebook is very keen on being instrumental in nurturing women entrepreneurs. The FbStart programme has different avenues, one of the key focuses being identifying women co-founders from high potential mobile startups. The ‘Startup girl child’ in collaboration with K-start was one such avenue that we recently discovered, adds Satyajeet.
In the pipeline
Mark Zuckerberg’s recent investment in a Bengaluru-based edutech startup as a part of the ‘Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’ was one of the key events in this year’s funding report. This act has also given local startups confidence that the funding net is growing and is venturing into unexpected spaces.
Passion, growth and adaptability have always been the driving assets at Facebook. The organisation is built for the world to be more open and connected, and we delve on passionate people and ideas to achieve this. We are looking at all the possible avenues in making this world more accessible by connecting with startups to support other platforms. YourStory TechSparks was one such event, enabling insight into the thoughts of startup heroes, and I am glad I was a part of it, says Satyajeet as we walk up for a coffee refill.