The digital economy of India is all set to receive a massive boost after the head-turning announcement that Google made today!
Sundar Pichai, in the sixth annual edition of ‘Google for India’ virtual event, announced a digitisation fund. Google will be investing a whopping $10 billion (Rs 75,000 crore) in India over the course of next 5 to 7 years via a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This will be done with the aim of accelerating the adoption of digital services in the Indian market space.
Google for India Digitization Fund: Main Focus Areas
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google LLC, in the virtual event went on to lay out Google’s plan of action when it comes to how it wants to utilise the $10 billion “Google for India Digitization Fund”.
- Google’s foremost priority is to enable affordable access and information for every Indian individual in their own specific language, whether it is Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other language.
- Google wants to build new products specifically for the Indian landscape which are deeply relevant and connected to the needs of Indian people.
- The tech giant aims to empower businesses of all sizes to continue on the path of digital transformation.
- They want to leverage cutting edge technology and AI for social good in areas of health, education, and agriculture.
India which consists of 1.3 billion people has slowly emerged as one of the greatest and biggest untapped growth markets for American giants. Currently, there are over 550 million internet users in India and over more than 450 million smartphones users are active in the country. Thus, it is completely undeniable that Google sees the recent investment as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor before India’s true potential is revealed.
Sundar Pichai via the virtual event added that there still needs to be a lot of work done in order to make the internet more affordable and accessible for a billion Indians. Starting from improving the voice input feature to supporting an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs, Google aims to cover it all in the near future.
Now, it needs to be noted here that Google, like every other American tech giant that is currently operating in India, makes only a fraction of its revenue from the world’s largest internet market. However, as of right now, increasing revenue is of least concern for Google or any other American tech giant for the matter of fact. This is because all of them are currently gunning for the next hundreds of millions of users in developing markets.
Google is not the first one to recognize the potential of the India market. The social media behemoth Facebook, in the month of April, made a $5.7 billion investment in Reliance’s Jio Platforms. Similarly, the founder and Chief Executive of Amazon Jeff Bezos, in the month of January, said the e-commerce giant is committed to ploughing an additional $1 billion in India which would total the company’s to-date commitment to a whopping $6.5 billion.
Lastly, the announcement Google made today comes at a very strategic timing wherein India is being observed to shutting its doors for Chinese firms. Everyone is already aware how India, in the previous month, declared the ban of 59 Chinese origin apps due to border conflicts with China. Now, some industry players believe that the ban on the Chinese firms will be greatly helping American tech giants to further expand their footprint all across India as they will now be facing way less competition.