×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wattpad Appoints Devashish Sharma as First India Manager (EXCLUSIVE)

Wattpad, which hosts a platform with more than 400 million user-generated stories, has appointed Devashish Sharma as its first country head for India.

Toronto-based Wattpad is home to a community of more than 70 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Earlier this year it raised $51 million in a funding round led by China’s Tencent and also including BDC, Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, Peterson Group, and existing investor Raine Group.

Sharma will be expected to grow Wattpad’s user-base in India, and work with local partners to turn Wattpad stories into film, television, print and digital projects. It currently claims 2.6 million monthly users and more than 4 million story uploads from India. Content can be viewed in Indian languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese, Marathi, and Oriya.

Sharma has previously held roles in Toronto and Silicon Valley. He joins Wattpad from CoHo, one of India’s top co-living companies, where he was a founder. He will be based in Mumbai and report to Wattpad chief product officer & co-founder Ivan Yuen.

“India is home to some of the most creative storytellers on the planet, with the most exciting literary and entertainment sectors anywhere,” said Lau. “Devashish understands both the product and community sides of technology, which is the perfect combination to help us expand our business in India.”

“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,” said Sharma.

Earlier this year Wattpad hired Dexter Ong, as head of Asia for Wattpad Studios in Hong-Kong. In August, it struck a deal with Asian regional steaming platform Iflix to co-produce more than a dozen original movies in Indonesia.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Disney Plus user interface home screen

    Disney Plus Is Not Hampering Netflix Yet, Analysts Say -- But It's Only Been a Week

    One week after the launch of Disney Plus, Wall Street analysts are scouring tea leaves for signs of how the Mouse House’s streaming service is faring — and whether it’s taken a bite out of Netflix. Disney Plus’ launch in the first week had “little to no impact” on Netflix usage trends, which is “reassuring [...]

  • Ross Levinsohn

    Maven Media Bosses Stumble Explaining Their Plans for Sports Illustrated

    Ross Levinsohn’s reintroduction into the spotlight of the media world was off to a rocky start. Appearing at Recode’s Code Media conference Monday afternoon alongside his business partner James Heckman, Levinsohn was given a chance to address the elephant in the room right out of the gate, with journalist Peter Kafka bringing up allegations of [...]

  • Commercials Ads Streaming Illustration Placeholder

    Banner Ads Bother. Pop-Ups Annoy. Streaming Wars Aim to Revive Them

    TV’s newest commercials are starting to look an awful lot like the web’s oldest. Any user of Amazon’s Fire set-top device might have recently stumbled upon an interactive on-screen graphic from Geico, the insurance company known for its heavy use of TV ads. In just 15 minutes, the company likes to claim, it can save [...]

  • New AVOD Service W4Free Launches in

    U.K. AVOD Service W4Free Launches, With Sky Handling Ad Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    A new player has joined the streaming fray in the U.K., with Video Solutions launching new ad-supported service W4Free and Comcast-owned Sky on board to handle its advertising sales. W4Free’s British rollout follows that of a sister service, Watch4, in German-speaking markets, and comes as the likes of Pluto and Tubi have been in the [...]

  • Friends Final Episode Streaming Wars

    'Friends' Props, Costumes to Be Auctioned Off for LGBTQ Charity

    Fans of “Friends” can own a piece of the sitcom — with more than 100 props, costumes, replicas and other items to go up for auction online for the first time next month. Proceeds from the auction, timed for the popular series’ 25th anniversary, will benefit The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention [...]

  • Funimation

    Sony Pictures Television's Funimation Builds Out Executive Team With Four Hires

    Funimation, Sony Pictures Television’s global anime business, has hired four executives — hailing from NBCUniversal, Hulu, Viz Media and DC Entertainment — to bulk up its management team. The four new hires are Wenny Katzenstein, VP of marketing strategy; TJ Walker, VP of creative; Beth Kawasaki, executive director, brand management; and Anna Songco Adamian, VP, [...]

  • The Mandalorian Disney +

    Could Disney Plus Reach 60 Million-90 Million Subscribers Earlier Than Expected?

    There’s no doubt about Disney’s desire to make an impression on the market with direct-to-consumer service Disney Plus, trumpeting 10 million subscribers just a day after its Nov. 12 launch. That’s more than HBO Now’s 8 million lifetime subs, not to mention CBS All Access and Showtime OTT’s 8 million subs combined. Wall Street sent [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content