Weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Facebook HQ, Mark Zuckerberg has scheduled a Q&A session on 28th October. The young FB CEO is keen on clearing the various misconceptions surrounding the concept of Free Basics (formerly Internet.org). Internet.org as a concept has faced tremendous opposition from the Indian masses as it is believed to go against Net Neutrality. Zuckerberg hopes to change that by giving an opportunity to the masses to clear their misunderstanding about Free Basics.
Zuckerberg has been a prominent youth icon since almost a decade. His story has inspired many youngsters around the globe to think bigger and strive for their goals. His brand Facebook as an employer has had a fine reputation in the IITs. The Indian Institute of Technology is known to churn out top-notch talent for the tech market and Facebook has hired many graduates from it and compensated them with highly competitive packages. Earlier last year, Facebook offered an IITB student, Astha Agarwal, a package of 2 crore. This incident has once again proved the social media behemoth to be a high-paying employer. However, since the creation of the Internet.org the social media giant has been under a bad light. Facebook has more than 1.3 Billion users in India and so it is crucial for the brand to take them in confidence for being successfully able to launch their project.
To explain, Zuckerberg said "India is personally very important to the history of our company here. This is a story that I have not told publicly and very few people know," he said at the Facebook HQ on September 27.
"Early on in our history, before things were really going well and we had hit a tough patch, and a lot of people wanted to buy Facebook and thought we should sell the company, I went and saw one of my mentors, Steve Jobs, and he told me that in order to reconnect with what I believed is the mission of the company, I should visit this temple that he had gone to in India early in his evolution of thinking about what he wanted Apple and his vision of the future to be," he said.
"So I went and I traveled for almost a month and seeing the people, seeing how people connected, and having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone had a stronger ability to connect, reinforced for me the importance of what we were doing. And that is something I have always remembered over the last ten years as we built Facebook".
The upcoming Townhall at IIT Delhi will give the critics and supporters an opportunity to explore the seemingly dubious Free Basics project in depth to be able to form a proper view on the topic. It is reported that India has more than 8 lakh users under the Free Basics project. While it is clear what the Facebook CEO’s communication strategy is aiming at, it is unclear how Facebook will be viewed as by the dexterous thought leaders of our country and would this move alter their opinions about Facebook as an employer as well.