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Former Twitter India boss Manish Maheshwari confirms exit, will launch edtech start-up

Dec 14, 2021 10:17 PM IST

"I am leaving Twitter. The (exit) date has to be worked out. I want to do things in the education and teaching space," Maheshwari told Moneycontrol in an interaction.

Former Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari who relocated to the US as the senior director, global strategy and operations of the company, is exiting the firm to launch his ed-tech startup.

"I am leaving Twitter. The (exit) date has to be worked out. I want to do things in the education and teaching space," Maheshwari told Moneycontrol in an interaction.

"Coming from a very ordinary middle-class background, education has been a cornerstone of my life. Whatever I have achieved is through education. And I see that with technology there is so much more impact you can create by developing the relevant skill set at scale. More so with the Metaverse coming in, you can also create virtually immersive experience. The idea is to leverage the technology to really solve for employability and drive better educational outcomes," he added.
Maheshwari's decision comes shortly after Twitter got its new CEO Parag Agrawal, as co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the role.

However, Maheshwari said he was planning the start-up, to be named Invact, for some time now and the decision had nothing to do with the rejig at the company.

Maheshwari had moved to the US in August and was reporting to Deitra Mara, Senior Director, Global Strategy & Operations at Twitter.

A graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Maheswari joined as Twitter India MD to drive growth and business in the country after serving as a CEO – Digital, Network18 Media and Investments Ltd. Before that, he was heading Flipkart’s seller ecosystem.

However, things went south over the last few months, as the standoff between the government and Twitter escalated over content moderation and legal trouble mounted.

Twitter India office was raided by the police in May as a part of ongoing investigation related to the manipulated media tags for certain posts, and compliance with the new IT rules.

Two FIRs were filed against Maheshwari in June, even as the company failed to comply with the new IT rules. Maheshwari had filed an appeal in the Karnataka High Court, which ruled in favour of Maheshwari.

"Over the last two years, the building blocks for a Metaverse have become very robust. And now you have much better virtual reality. So you can create a three-dimensional experience. You also have a virtual identity through the web 3.0. So you can actually have your identity that you can carry with you and and all your memories, all your coursework, all your proof of work, and your credentials can be carried forward," he said.

For now he plans to stay in the US and build his venture. Going forward the plan is to target markets like  Indonesia, Philippines, Nigeria besides India.

"The basic product is already ready. The look and the feel is already our minds and we need to quickly get it out in the market," he said.

Maheshwari will start with higher education or MBA like executive courses post which students can be employed. The idea is to create a Metaverse ecosystem consisting of an educational institute, its campus, social circle followed by employment on the same network.

On Twitter, Maheshwari said he will be partnering with Tanay Pratap who is a senior software engineer with Microsoft. imparting employability training via a virtually immersive platform, which we are calling #Metaversity.

Priyanka Sahay
Swathi Moorthy
first published: Dec 14, 2021 09:40 pm
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