Anand Mahindra May Fund Facebook Rival. Gets Instant Like From Minister

Anand Mahindra said the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy made him wonder if it was time to fund an alternate social network.

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Anand Mahindra May Fund Facebook Rival. Gets Instant Like From Minister

Anand Mahindra said he was considering funding a social media startup to rival Facebook.

Mumbai: 

Highlights

  1. Facebook in huge row over firm that harvested user data without consent
  2. Mahindra Group chairman considers seed funding alternate social network
  3. Mahindra Group has a prominent IT division called Tech Mahindra
Billionaire businessman Anand Mahindra has an idea that the reigning social media giant may not be a huge fan of. As the controversy over the Facebook-Cambridge Analytical scandal continued to grab headlines, spiralling into a growing political row and spur worries about privacy and safety of personal data in India, Mr Mahindra took to Twitter to muse whether it was time to build an alternative social media platform. Among those who liked his idea was a union minister.

"Beginning to wonder if it's time to consider having our own social networking company that is very widely owned&professionally managed&willingly regulated.Any relevant Indian start-ups out there?If any young teams have such plans I'd like to see if I can assist with seed capital (sic)," The 62-year-old Chairman of the Mahindra Group, famous for its SUVs and software solutions, tweeted on Monday.

Under the tweet, he attached the cover of the latest The Economist magazine on the Facebook fiasco.His tweet created quite a bit of buzz on Tuesday morning, drawing approvals and suggestions. Among those who wished him well for the way was India's IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who had last week issued a sharp warning to Facebook.Bombarded with tweets, Anand Mahindra responded later in the day:This is not the first time that Mr Mahindra has weighed in on projects that interest him. Just last month, at the peak of the Nirav Modi scandal, the entrepreneur had aired an idea about crowdfunding an iconic building in Mumbai, that had been acquired by the fugitive jeweller, and turn it into a music hub.

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NDTV reported this week how the idea to revive the building, known as Rhythm House, had gained momentum.

If Mr Mahindra does plan to go ahead with his social media plans, he has strong credentials for it. The Mahindra group's IT arm, Tech Mahindra, is among the top five software exporters in India. The company reported strong financials in the last quarter, posting a 10.2 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit this January. Net profit rose to Rs 943 crore, from Rs 856 crore a year ago.

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