Social media platform Facebook on Friday said it has appointed Avinash Pant as the Marketing Director for its India operations.

The role of marketing director will be a new one at Facebook India, with the mandate to drive the company’s consumer marketing efforts across the family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the company said in a statement.

Pant’s appointment comes at a time when the competition for users intensifies in India, the world’s second-biggest global market, offering cheapest data tariffs. He will report directly to Ajit Mohan, Facebook’s Vice President and Managing Director, India.

Over the last year, the company has undertaken many India-focused initiatives, and also made its first minority investment in social-commerce venture Meesho.

“We’ve been working towards deepening our mission to build empowered communities… Consumer marketing is a new strategic area of focus for Facebook and one where we will dramatically increase our investment in communicating directly to consumers,” Mohan said.

A year ago, Facebook announced a new leadership structure in India bringing the company’s functions under Ajit Mohan, reporting directly to its headquarters in Menlo Park.

Pant, an alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad, has been working in the industry for the past 22 years. During this period, he has worked with brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, The Walt Disney Company, and most recently, Red Bull.

(With input from agencies)