Google will invest Rs. 75,000 crores (roughly $10 billion) in India over the next five to seven years, announced CEO Sundar Pichai at the annual Google for India event. This is the sixth edition of Google for India, and it took place virtually owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Pichai said that the funding would be provided through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. These “investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitisation,” Pichai added.
In a blog post, Pichai explained that the global pandemic has “supercharged the adoption of digital tools” in India. With the latest round of funding under the Google for India Digitisation Fund, the tech giant will focus on access to information in more Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, and more. Alphabet-owned Google will also develop new products and services that are “relevant to India’s unique needs.” The company added that it would support businesses to increase their digital footprint as well as leveraging AI-powered technology for social good in areas like health, education, and agriculture.
“There’s still more work to do in order to make the Internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians… from improving voice input and computing for all of India’s languages to inspiring and supporting a whole new generation of entrepreneurs,” Pichai said about the Google for India Digitisation Fund.
Speaking about the Alphabet-owned Google’s investment in India, Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Google is recognising the great power in India’s digital empowerment and innovation.
“India’s latent digital potential, third biggest startup movement in the world, extraordinary ride in electronic manufacturing… are all great opportunities which need to be properly exploited for its full potential” he added.
Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had announced an investment of $1 billion (Rs. 7,517 crores) to digitise India’s small and medium businesses. The new investment was added to Amazon’s existing funding of over $5.5 billion (41, 344 crores).
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