Peeyush Ranjan, 41, made news when he quit Google’s engineering team in the Silicon Valley and moved to Bangalore in May to become Head of engineering at India’s top online retailer, Flipkart. Ranjan previously headed engineering for Google’s Android One, the project to conceive low-cost phones for emerging markets. Before that, he drove engineering for the Google-owned Value Devices division of Motorola.
Ranjan returned to India after nine years at Google and two decades in the United States. He was among the first technologists to make the move but since then many known Silicon Valley names have quit top firms to join India’s booming e-commerce sector. In a conversation with Forbes, Ranjan talks about the excitement and challenges.Why did you move from Google’s engineering team to Flipkart?
The first reason is the role technology can play in the challenges that India’s e-commerce companies are trying to solve. Second, the opportunity to build a very high-quality, world-class company right out of India as opposed to working for a multinational in India. Building a Google or Facebook of the East is an exciting proposition. I worked on products like Moto G and Moto E at Motorola and Android One at Google, and I can see that there is a huge revolution happening in this part of the world. There are problems being solved where technology is playing a fundamental role. We can be at the forefront of it all. I don’t have a personal reason to be here as much as the opportunity presented.