WhatsApp is planning to appoint someone to head its operations in India. This is the first time that the instant messaging application is going to appoint a head in the country. The vacancy is for a senior-level designation for somebody who can “lead our (WhatsApp) efforts in India including products for people and businesses along with our interest in peer to peer payments.” The India head will be based in Mumbai and will report to WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer in California.
WhatsApp holds a global user base of 1 billion strong, while it has 200 million monthly active users in India as on February 2017.
“This is a senior leadership position that requires product experience as well as a track record of success leading partnerships and business development in India. This leader will need to build a close partnership with product and engineering teams to influence direction and to effectively represent WhatsApp’s long term strategy,” a job advertisement on WhatsApp’s website.
Coming to responsibilities, the WhatsApp India head will be required to shape and direct the messaging app as a product; represent WhatsApp’s product strategy in country and drive alignment with partners and stakeholders; lead partnership efforts in market, acting as a cross functional leader across WhatsApp and Facebook teams; build relationships with key partner, and other constituents at senior levels.
Regarding qualifications, WhatsApp is looking for someone with at least 15 years of experience in product driven companies and more than five years of experience with payment technologies in India. The aspiring WhatsApp India head must have a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science degree in Engineering, Sciences or Business and should be a “heavy user of WhatsApp’s products.”
WhatsApp wants its India head to coordinate with product and engineering leaders as well as negotiate and build relations with partners. “You should also expect to handle day-to-day operations to support your team’s efforts with key partners in market, develop and execute on strategic partner initiatives and build relationships with other key constituents in market and within Facebook,” the WhatApp advertisement read.
Going by the advertisement, WhatsApp is looking for a candidate that can work on its recent rollouts in India – WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp Payment. WhatsApp is rolling out its UPI-based payments feature in India which has faced criticism from other players in the sector. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has bashed the payment platform of WhatsApp on account of probable security risk for users and not complying with the guidelines. The new India head will have to work with the new WhatsApp Payments platform as well as brave criticism and competition in Indian market.
Moreover, WhatsApp plans to make a senior level appointment is one of their biggest markets amidst rising concern over data privacy. Its parent company Facebook is embroiled in a massive data breach affecting 87 million users. The messaging application has recently clarified that it collects very little data and every message is end to end encrypted.
The position is based in Mumbai and the chosen executive will report to WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer in California.