Google has appointed Rajan Anandan, previously managing director of Microsoft's India unit, as head of its India operations effective immediately.

Anandan will take over from Shailesh Rao, Google said in a statement.

Rao, who was earlier handling dual roles -- one as India operations head and the other as managing director of media and platform sales for Japan and Asia-Pacific, will now handle the latter role full-time, the company added.

India is an important growth country for Google, President of Google's Japan and Asia-Pacific Operations Daniel Alegre said in a statement.

With Internet users growing at 50 percent year-on-year, a strong leadership team will ensure that Google captures this tremendous opportunity, he said.

(Reporting by Bharghavi Nagaraju;)