Rajesh is an engineering leader with a decade-long track record of driving rapid growth and innovation within the realm of Android apps. Presently serving as an Engineering Leader at Google, he oversees the Gmail Android product, a colossal platform catering to billions of users.

Preceding his tenure at Google, Rajesh provided leadership through several pivotal roles at Meta (formerly Facebook), spearheading impactful initiatives encompassing Design Systems, Animations, and Authentication, each culminating in significant success. Under his strategic guidance, Meta successfully launched revenue-generating products that collectively generated hundreds of millions annually.

In your own words, what’s your role in the app business right now?

I oversee engineering in a critical area of Gmail on Android. Gmail on Android is among the apps with the largest user base ever. This presents some interesting challenges of scale not often seen. For example, you see users in emerging markets with some very resource-constrained Android devices and you have to figure out how to give them the best possible experience while supporting the newest Android phone.

How did you end up working in apps? / get started?

In 2012, I used to work at a social gaming company that was making a transition towards mobile apps. They were looking for employees to make a transition to mobile development in order to help the company with this transition. I had been interested in the mobile app space for quite some time already and jumped at the opportunity. I have since really enjoyed working in this space.

What are you most excited about in apps right now? (tech, trends, people, verticals)

I’m really excited about foldable devices. Phones before smartphones strived to be unique and phone manufacturers would launch some remarkable devices. Since the advent of smartphones though, all phone form factor has been reduced to a screen. This is the first time we’re seeing phone manufacturers push the boundaries in this smartphone era and I’m really excited to see how apps are customizing their look and feel for them.

What other companies in the app space do you rate/ inspire you and why?

I’ve been really impressed with how well the Doordash app has been executed. Very polished UX.

What do you like most about working in apps?

The accessibility of apps is what makes them so interesting. The phones are right there in users’ hands wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. This creates some interesting problems to be solved for the user in enabling their lives to be better. This is what makes the space so interesting for me.

What one thing would you change about the app industry / market?

The user experience in apps is starting to feel quite similar across the ecosystem. I’d love to see more experimentation and new standards start to develop.

Where do you think there’s an opportunity for apps / or unmet needs?

The apps in the fitness industry have a lot of potential but have not fully met user needs yet. This industry is ripe for more growth.

If you weren’t working in apps what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine not being in this space. Every day is a fresh and exciting new experience. But, if I really had to choose I do Pottery as a hobby. I love to make vases, mugs and bowls in my free time at a local pottery studio in Mountain View, CA. So maybe I’d do that full-time!

iOS or Android?

I’ve been an Android user since it first came out!

What app(s) have been most useful to you over the last year?

I’ve invested in account security this last year so 1Password and Authy. Great apps for improving your overall password security.

What’s on your Spotify / Music party playlist?

I love Harry Styles. He’s got quite a bunch of catchy tunes.

Any Netflix/ TV show recommendations?

Dark! It’s a German sci-fi thriller and is up there on my Top 5 all-time list. I also enjoy comedies like The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I love swimming. I spend 3-4 days any given week trying to get some laps in.

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