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Saavn hires Mahesh Narayanan as global COO

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MUMBAI: Indian music streaming service Saavn is kicking off 2015 with a new appointment. The company has appointed Mahesh Narayanan as its global chief operating officer.

Based out of Mumbai, Narayanan will oversee numerous functions of the company to encourage growth and support Saavn's expansion in 2015. 

Narayanan, who brings a decade of digital experience to Saavn, most recently led the India operations for German display advertising company, Sociomantic, which was acquired by Dunnhumby in April 2014, less than a year after he helped launch the company's Mumbai-based operations.

Prior to that he played a major role in planting the seeds of growth for Google India. He was the founding member of Google's Direct Sales Operations in 2005, before joining the leadership team of mobile advertising network, AdMob. Following Google's acquisition of AdMob in 2010, Narayanan returned to Google as mobile head for India.

"Mahesh is an elite executive who is recognized as one of the top digital leaders in the world and brings a bright, uniquely experienced perspective to Saavn. He'll be involved in 360 degrees of the company to help make everyone better and bring us into the next chapter of growth and revenue. We're honored to have Mahesh on board, and he has already made a tremendous impact on the organization in his first few weeks with us. Businesses are built off great people. Mahesh is one of the best," said Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra.

"I am most passionate about digital technology and music. Saavn represents my vision of the ideal blend of both passions most aptly. I've had the opportunity to help many leading global technology media companies achieve success, and I genuinely believe that Saavn is primed for the same caliber of success. I am really excited about partnering with Rishi and the leadership team to take Saavn to a whole new league," added Narayanan.

Narayanan joins Saavn as the company enters its most significant phase of growth. In addition to crossing user thresholds (30 million unique users in 2014; 11 million monthly streaming users), Saavn is announcing several major milestones, including:

1) Entering the 10-50 million downloads tier on Android, making it the most downloaded Indian music service in Google Play (International).  

2) 6x increase in Saavn Pro subscribers from Q1 2014.

3) 3x increase in streaming volume from Q1 2014.

4) Approaching 200 million streams per month.

5) 90% of users are on mobile.

Saavn closed 2014 with partnerships with companies like Twitter, T-Mobile and Snapdeal, an industry-first content initiative with Sony Music, and a year-end infographic celebrating Saavn's most active cities and users.

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