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Free call and messaging app Line names Damandeep Singh Soni as head of India operations

Line Corp, the company that owns and operates the free call and messaging app Line, has appointed Damandeep Singh Soni as head of its India business development, effective next month. In his new role, Soni will lead Line's plans to develop partnerships and unique offerings for the Indian market.

"Instant messaging apps are the future of personalised communication and Line, with its unique features of stickers, free voice/video call and official accounts, is well placed to be the app of choice for young Indians," said Soni.

A technology veteran, Soni has worked in various MNCs in the UK, the US and India. Previously, he led the telecom business development for Infosys in the UK and was involved in a sales programme for Nokia in North Indian states. He has also been an entrepreneur in the education space and co-founded PK Online Ventures.

Soni has also worked at AdChakra Network, where he led the digital media marketing & content space.

Japan's Line Corp develops and operates the Line app for smartphones. It enables free one-to-one and group messaging, as well as free domestic and international voice and video calls. Line also includes a wide array of social elements such as fun and expressive stickers and family games.

The firm claims the app has grown into a global service used in 230 countries since launching in June 2011. Line claims its user base in India had touched 15 million as of last month.

According to the firm, Soni's appointment is in alignment with its growing importance in India. The firm had recently appointed Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif as its brand ambassador.

Line competes with WhatsApp, Hike and WeChat among other players in the business.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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