India is very important in Facebook’s history: Zuckerberg

San Jose: Zuckerberg said he considers India a “temple” of knowledge from where he took inspiration to rebuild Facebook when the company went through a “rough patch” and was on the verge of being sold more than 10 years ago.

“Personally excited about India for a number of reasons,” the 31-year-old CEO of the popular social networking site said as he hosted a Townhall Q&A for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at its headquarters here today.

“India is very important in the history of Facebook,” he said as he narrated the story of his month-long visit to India 10 years ago.

Zuckerberg said Facebook was going through a “rough patch” and was on the verge of being sold when his “guru” and Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs asked “me to visit a temple in India.”

“So I visited India for almost a month,” he said.

The visit reinforced the confidence in him to rebuild Facebook into a multi-billion company. “The idea is before doing anything you should go to a temple,” Zuckerberg said.

Earlier, Modi said people of the world would be surprised to hear about Zuckerberg’s story “that you got inspiration from a temple in India.”

“There is a lot of optimism in India. You came to India, a temple, with hope. And see where you reached. Your experience shows hope. There is something special about India,” he added.

The Facebook chief said he was personally impressed at how Modi used social media to connect with people directly.

He, however, rued that there is still a billion people disconnected from Internet in India.

“I hope you’ll be the voice of a billion people around the world,” Modi said.