The Google for India event is currently underway, and the highlight of today’s event was Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google announced a $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy. “Today, people in India no longer have to wait for technology to come to you. A whole new generation of technologies are happening in India first,” said Pichai through a video.
Pichai also said that while four years ago, only one-third of all small businesses in India had an online presence, at present, 26 million SMBs are now discoverable on Search and Maps, driving connections with more than 150 million users every month. “This has made it possible for more small businesses to become part of the formal economy, and it improves their access to credit,” he said.
Reiterating the fact that Google believes innovations that start in India can benefit the rest of the world, Pichai announced the Google for India Digitization Fund. “Through this effort, we will invest ₹75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion, into India over the next 5-7 years. We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” stated Pichai.
What the Google for India Digitization Fund will Focus On
The investments will be aimed at the following four areas of India’s digitization journey according to a blog post on Google:
- Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own native language such as Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi and so on.
- Building new products and services that are inherently relevant to India’s unique needs.
- Empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation.
- Leveraging technology and artificial intelligence for social good, in areas like health, education, and agriculture.