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Rediff.com  » Business » Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to meet Modi during India visit

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to meet Modi during India visit

June 30, 2014 13:36 IST

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to meet Modi during India visit

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Sounak Mitra in New Delhi

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.

She is already in the country.

Sandberg, one of the world’s most high-profile woman executives and author of Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead, is the first from Facebook’s headquarters to visit India on an official trip.

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Image: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg with a village woman at Kalthana Village, Rajasthan.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sheryl Sandberg's Facebook page

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Before joining Facebook, she was the vice-president for global online sales and operations at Google.

Her India visit comes at a time when Facebook, in India, is set to cross even its home market in terms of user base.

It has already crossed 100 million average monthly users in the country.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, social media, including Facebook, played a key role in shaping public opinion.

According to experts, this was the first time in India that public opinion before polls was largely influenced by social media.

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Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Reuters

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to meet Modi during India visit

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India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet members are active on social media.

While India is the largest market for Facebook outside the US, with over 100 million users, it is yet to generate enough revenue here.

In the financial year ended March 2013, Facebook’s India unit had revenue of Rs 75.64 crore (Rs 756.4 million) -- a 68 per cent jump from the previous year’s Rs 45.06 crore, according to data by Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

In FY15, the company is expected to have even higher jumps in revenue.

Sandberg’s visit might help Facebook chart its future growth strategy, especially to reach the unattained monetisation phase.

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Image: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at Kalthana Village, Rajasthan.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sheryl Sandberg's Facebook page

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to meet Modi during India visit

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During her India trip, Sandberg is scheduled to meet select small and medium enterprises -- primarily new-age companies -- advertising and media agencies, women entrepreneurs and women representatives from industry bodies.

While Facebook officials in India did not agree to share details of Sandberg’s schedule in India, her first official stop is expected to be Hyderabad, where Facebook’s headquarters is located.

Besides Delhi, where she is expected to have meetings with government officials besides the PM, and a media round table, Sandberg may have scheduled stops in a couple of more cities in India.

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Image: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Photographs: Courtesy, Sheryl Sandberg's Facebook page

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This is not her first visit to an Asian country.

She had visited South Korea and Japan before.

According to her Facebook page, she had visited Facebook’s Tokyo office thrice and Dentsu office in Japan twice.

She has been to Seoul, South  Korea, seven times, though it is not clear if she had visited the Facebook office there.

A Harvard Business School alumnus, Sandberg also served as the chief of staff for Larry Summers in the Bill Clinton administration.

Also, this might not be Sandberg’s first visit to India.

According to reports, she had worked in India for a health project with the World Bank in the early 1990s.

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Image: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at the Harvard Business School.
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters

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