WhatsApp has been under the fire from Indian regulators for reasons ranging from inability to curb fake news menace, circumvention around policy for its payments business and storing users data in local servers.
In a first step towards addressing regulators and Supreme Court concern, it has appointed Komal Lahiri as a grievance officer for India. It also laid out process to report concerns and flag objectionable content and fake news.
According to Lahiri’s LinkedIn profile, she has been serving the instant messaging platform in the capacity of Sr. Director, Global Customer Operations & Localization at WhatsApp Inc. for over 7 months.
Previously, she held Senior Director, Community Operations/Head of Community Support, Facebook and Instagram for little less than 4 years. Through frequently asked question (FAQ) section, WhatsApp mentioned that grievances and concerns can be communicated via the app, email or by writing directly to the officer.
Besides facing government wrath, WhatsApp also irked the apex court for not appointing a local head for addressing concerns. Last month, the SC had issued a notice to the company over why the messaging app has not appointed grievance officer in India.
Interestingly, Lahiri is based out of San Francisco. It’s yet to be known whether she would move to India or continue operating from the US.
Since local grievance officer has to resolve consumers as well as coordinate with investigating agencies, Lahiri is expected to spend significant time in India.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp Pay has been eyeing to hire a candidate to lead its payment business for several months. Former Paytm’s VP Amit Lakhotia is one of the potential candidates for it.
Following the government diktat, WhatsApp also has been setting up a local corporate entity. It currently has one corporate entity in India, by the name of WhatsApp Application Services Limited registered in Hyderabad.