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Google makes three India appointments

business Updated: May 26, 2008 23:19 IST
Venkatesh Ganesh

California-based search technology giant Google, is restructuring its India operations to solidify and compete against Microsoft and Yahoo.

As a part of this strategy, Google has appointed Sridhar Seshadri to head the financial services business practice along with Parminder Singh and Narasimha Jayakumar who would be heading the Technology and travel and local business practice (includes classifieds and real estate) that brings in revenues in the form of online advertisements.

While Google does not give out numbers on the amount of business that each vertical generates, industry observers see these appointments as part of Google India’s strategy to consolidate its market share, which is in excess of 60 per cent.

Seshadri, Singh and Jayakumar will report to Shailesh Rao, Managing Director, Google India. Seshadri, an ICICI bank veteran will be responsible for generating revenue from the financial services segment and will focus on serving key clients in the Banking, Insurance, and Mutual Funds sectors. Similarly, Singh and Jayakumar will be in charge of growing technology and local and travel business.

Talking about the appointments, Rao said: “At this stage of our evolution in India, we believe it is critical to bring in senior executives.” This is significant at a time when Microsoft had recently bid for Yahoo, to grow its share in the online advertising business pie that is expected to reach a market size of Rs 40,000 crore ($10 billion).

“Google wants to be proactive and maintain its lead against competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo,” said the CEO of an Indian Internet company who did not wish to be named.

Yahoo launched a new search initiative which puts together images, audio, video, blogs and Wikipedia-related information on a single web page. Google has been increasing its India presence of late, and launched an Indian version of Youtube immediately after MySpace, a competitor of its Orkut, launched its Indian version.