Motorola Mobility's former vice president of product management, Punit Soni, who played a leading role in launching the Moto E, G and X smartphones, is India-bound, having joined the country's leading online shopping company.
Soni, who spent the last six months as an adviser at Google after Lenovo Group purchased Motorola from the Internet search giant, will be chief products officer at Bangalore-based Flipkart, according to a post on his Google+ page on Wednesday. And though Soni is moving to India for his new role, he will be involved in building a strong presence in Silicon Valley for Flipkart, as well as evangelizing the Indian company to potential employees in the U.S. as he builds out his Bangalore team, according to his post.
“Over time, we will build programs to attract the best talent to Bangalore and also establish a significant presence back home in the Valley,” he wrote.
Backed with billions of dollars from global venture and private equity capital, Asian companies are scouting talent and technology in the Valley to build the technology infrastructure and the business processes needed for them to serve the next billion customers.
"After almost eight years at Google, the only gig that would make sense is one with a overwhelming sense of potential, of impact that could span billions and move countries," Soni wrote in the post. "I am moving to India for the next few years to help build Flipkart into a world class product and engineering company in the capacity of their Chief Product Officer."
In doing so, Soni joins other Valley technologists who've looked eastward to break out in new directions in their careers. Hugo Barra, another Googler, is now leading Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi’s charge into markets from India to Brazil. California-based Vishal Sikka, formerly the head of technology at SAP SE, is now CEO of Infosys Ltd., India's second biggest software services company.
Soni’s move to Flipkart also comes at a time when Amazon.com is spending $2 billion, to start with, to expand its India operations, and China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., fresh from the world’s biggest share sale, has made some moves to expand into India.
“The energy in Bangalore feels like the Valley and Flipkart with a footprint of millions is at the forefront. It is the opportunity to create the biggest impact and made sense after the amazing journey at Google,” Soni wrote, in his post.