Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet, said that the company is going to invest $10 billion over the next five or seven years to help promote the digital technologies in India. The announcement is made at the annual Google India event via video conferencing. The outbreak of coronavirus has shown the clear importance of technology from connecting with friends or families to small and large businesses who are working online – it’s the internet that is keeping us all together. The investments will be focused on partnerships, operations, infrastructure, the digital ecosystem, and equity investments.
The efforts will be focusing on several key areas:-
- Creation of new products and services depending on India’s unique needs.
- Empowering business in their digital transformation
- Enabling affordable access and information available in their own language
- Leveraging tech and AI in areas like health, education, and agriculture
One of the examples of this investment can be an AI-based flood forecasting system – it will help to warn and evacuate the areas which may get affected by the natural disaster. Another example can be, AI-based reading tutor app which will help kids to read and learn on their own.
Google has made various direct and indirect investments in different startups in India such as a local delivery app Dunzo. Beyond helping via funds, Pichai has also invested in areas like AI and education in India.
Indian-born Pichai, joined Google in 2004, with the offices in Banglore and Hyderabad. At that time, he was widely credited with making search services like chrome browser to help people find relevant information and data on everything from local stores to international services. Then the Indian business has grown to its fastest pace. Today, In India there are more than 500 million active internet users. Connectivity and access are the only foundation for products and services which can be useful and help to solve the current crisis in the country such as a pandemic.
It’s about kick-starting the economy while keeping all of us safe.
The opportunity of digital India helps to connect more people through the internet to solve issues India faces in health, agriculture, and education, and create more job opportunities for every young Indian.
Though, Google and Alphabet, is also finding some difficulties during this time. The entire global community is hurting and they are not immune to the effects of this global pandemic. In April, the company decided to slow the hiring for the remaining year as it battled the advertising slow down from coronavirus. But still, they are putting their best foot forward for India’s benefit. Google’s initiative to provide free access to learning resources as well as their collaboration with CBSE to train 1 million teachers using Ed-Tech.
Meanwhile, India has seen major foreign interests in its digital economy. In the last few months, various investors including Facebook, Intel Corp., and Qualcom Inc. has invested around $16 billion in digital services, especially in India’s largest Retail-to-Telecom giant Reliance Industry Limited. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are pumping billions into the market right now to gain users and create a foundation for future revenue growth.
In the past decades, Google has been very successful in India by launching several products, including Google Internet Saathi to bring the women of rural areas online – which helped over 30 million women across India and obviously popular Google Play Store used by each Andriod phone in India.
Pichai said this mission to bring digital transformation in India is personal to him, adding, “When I was young every new piece of technology brought new opportunities to learn and grow. But I always have to wait for it to arrive from someplace else. Today people in India no longer have to wait for technology.”
There is still more work required to make the Internet affordable and useful to billions of users!!