Bengaluru13/7/20:: Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday (July 13) announced a $10 billion (around Rs 75,000 crore) fund to accelerate India’s digital economy. The announcement came hours after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is worth noting that the US-based tech behemoth is all set to expand its presence in the main overseas market.
“Today, I’m excited to announce the Google for India Digitization Fund. Through this effort, we will invest Rs 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,” Pichai said.
Thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s vision for Digital India, the country has made huge progress in getting a billion Indians online. Low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data, and world-class telecom infrastructure, have paved the way for new opportunities,” Pichai said while announcing the fund.
Investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization. First, enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, or any other language. Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs. Third, empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation. Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education, and agriculture.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a twitter post said, “This morning, had an extremely fruitful interaction with @sundarpichai. We spoke on a wide range of subjects, particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs.”
“During our interaction, @sundarpichai and I spoke about the new work culture that is emerging in the times of COVID-19. We discussed the challenges the global pandemic has brought to areas such as sports. We also talked about the importance of data security and cyber safety,” PM Modi tweeted.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed Google’s move to invest $10 billion in India. “I’m very happy that Google is recognizing India’s digital innovation and the need to create further opportunity. There is immense scope for Google to deploy artificial intelligence and undertake new initiatives in the field of agriculture, weather prediction, healthcare in the wake of COVID-19 challenges and most importantly in digital education. Today, India’s app economy is growing very powerfully, but we must not just download apps. It is important also to upload apps from India. I am sure with this new fund, Google will also focus on promoting our startups further,” Prasad added.