Facebook opens India office, targets mobile growth

Off the back of recently launching a Singapore office to cover its rapidly growing market in Southeast Asia, Facebook has moved to service another of its huge Asian markets by opening a presence in Hyderabad, India, its first office in the country.

Don Foul, director of global online operations, has the following quotes in a recent DNA story:

Facebook Hyderabad will focus on building online operations, supporting users, advertisers and developers around the world. The team here will work with the users, advertisers and developers. The users’ questions and those of the developers will be handled by the teams here. For advertisers too, the teams will answer all the questions on making use of the platform in their advertisement campaign.  

We have hundreds of thousands of advertisers working on connecting with people. The developers are working on the payment service opportunity as well. From the India point of view, it is going to be a great platform for all the users and Indian developers will be working on creating experiences for the users here.

Facebook has only begin scratching the service in India, as well as Southeast Asia, where internet penetration rates are low and mobile represents the most convenient internet access point for much of the population. Mobile is rapidly becoming a huge growth area for the social network and it seems likely mobile will be a key objective for the offices in India and Singapore.

Facebook has been looking to enable and encourage greater mobile internet access in developing marketing with initiatives such as Facebook Zero which, in partnership with a number of operations, allows users in ‘developing’ nations free access to Facebook’s mobile site – as blogged here.

Payments – as highlighted in the quotes above – will become huge and is ongoing issue in Asia where credit card penetration is low and issues persistent with the security of banking through mobile. Progress here could be critical for Facebook as it represents an opportunity to make inroads and a business model in one of the world’s most populated countries.