Wattpad Announces First Country Manager for India
Devashish Sharma joins Wattpad in a year of major international expansion and new hires
TORONTO - December 6, 2018 - Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories, today announced the appointment of Devashish Sharma as Country Manager for India. Sharma will be Wattpad’s first Country Manager in India, leading the company’s efforts to expand all aspects of its business in the region. He will be based in Mumbai and report to Wattpad Chief Product Officer & co-founder Ivan Yuen.
Sharma will lead Wattpad’s efforts to grow its user-base in India, as well as work with local partners to turn Wattpad stories into books, TV shows, films, and digital projects. Wattpad has seen continued growth in India, where the company’s 2.6 million monthly users have shared more than four million story uploads. Users in India can browse stories in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese, Marathi, and Oriya.
“India is home to some of the most creative storytellers on the planet, with the most exciting literary and entertainment sectors anywhere,” said Allen Lau, CEO & co-founder, Wattpad. “With millions of Indian users and stories already on Wattpad, we have a tremendous opportunity to help Indian writers build a global audience, and work with local studios and publishers to find new voices. Devashish understands both the product and community sides of technology, which is the perfect combination to help us expand our business in India.”
Sharma was previously part of the founding team at CoHo, one of India’s top co-living companies. Leading the product and growth teams at CoHo, he helped the company establish a presence in major cities across India. He has also held roles in Toronto and Silicon Valley.
“Wattpad is bringing something truly unique to the global entertainment industry: a data-backed and audience-first approach to development,” said Devashish Sharma, India Country Manager, Wattpad. “India’s media market is growing at an incredible pace, with producers and OTT services struggling to meet the demand for local content. India is a land of stories, and I can’t wait to tap into the incredible local talent on Wattpad to create hits for Indian and international audiences.”
2018 has been a year of international expansion for Wattpad, with new hires, deals, and investments in Europe and Southeast Asia. The company added a number of high profile international roles this year, including Dexter Ong, who joined the company as Head of Asia for Wattpad Studios in Hong-Kong, and Lindsay Ramey, who joined the Wattpad Studios team as Director of Content Development and Production in LA.
Wattpad has seen continued growth in 2018, now with more than 70 million users globally. In addition to raising USD $51 million from Tencent and other international investors this year, Wattpad landed major production deals with iflix, Bavaria Fiction, Sony, SYFY, and others. Wattpad has also had a breakthrough year in innovation, with new investments in its Story DNA machine learning technology, which the company uses to discover stand-out stories among the 565 million on the platform.
Wattpad’s vision is to entertain and connect the world through stories. Using the power of community and technology, the global multiplatform entertainment company is unleashing the full potential of stories to the world -- in any format. Its flagship app, Wattpad, is home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Wattpad’s Story DNA machine learning technology allows the company to understand and discover stories among the more than 565 million uploads on the platform. Wattpad Studios is transforming entertainment by bringing data-backed insights to the industry and turning Wattpad stories into books, films, TV shows, and digital projects. Wattpad Brand Solutions offers a full suite of advertising products to help brands build deep engagement with Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Tap by Wattpad, the company’s second storytelling product, offers immersive interactive entertainment experiences in over a dozen languages. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Learn more at: company.wattpad.com