Google’s South East Asia (SEA) and India vice president Rajan Anandan has stepped down from his position at the Internet giant after eight years. He will be joining venture fund Sequoia Capital as managing director (MD).
At Sequoia, Anandan will focus on Surge, a rapid scale-up programme for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia. In a LinkedIn post, Shailendra J. Singh, MD at Sequoia Capital, said Anandan will add to a list of six existing MDs and will help develop Surge “into the world’s top scale-up programme for startups by acting as an investment adviser and mentor to the programme’s founders”.
Launched in January, Surge plans to pick 10-20 early-stage startups for two cohorts every year for a 16-week programme and invest $1.5 million in each. The programme is designed “to give founders an unfair advantage to scale and grow, make smart business model choices at the start, and raise a Series A round soon after,” according to Singh.
“Rajan’s deep understanding of technology, significant operating expertise, and track record of growing tech businesses across the region will help Surge founders scale and build the transformational businesses of tomorrow,” Singh said in his post.
Anandan, who joined Google in 2011, has played a significant role in expanding Google’s reach in India and SEA in the years that have been most crucial for the development of the digital ecosystem in the region.
“8 amazing years. 850 million Internet users across India and SEA. Many billions of revenue and the fastest growing region in the world. The incredible team that thinks big and executes superbly,” Anandan said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Anandan, who was the managing director of Microsoft in India before Google, is also a prolific angel investor. He has invested in over 40 technology startups in India, according to the Indian Angel Network, and is also the co-founder of Blue Ocean Ventures, a seed fund in Sri Lanka.