Google and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai recently announced that they would be investing $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years through it is “India Digitization Fund.”
A great piece of news coming amidst the havoc created by the current pandemic of novel CORONA Virus is that Google will be helping India economically to accelerate India’s digital economy.
Sundar Pichai had an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various other matters as well.
The main agenda of the virtual meeting that held between them was to leverage the power of technology to transform the lives of those farmers, those youngsters who even after their graduation are still unemployed and those entrepreneurs in India.
Sundar Pichai would also be taking part in the sixth annual edition of “Google for India” along with Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology.
What the Google for India Digitization FUND focuses on?
Investment by Google will mainly focus on the following four areas, that are important for India’s digitization:
- First, is to enable affordable access and information available to every Indian in their language, whether it is Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, Gujarati, or any other regional language.
- Second is to build up and plan for new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs and uses.
- Third is to empower businesses in India to continue or embark on their digital transformation as fast as possible and in an easy process.
- Fourth is to leverage technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for social good, mainly in areas like health, education, and agriculture.
Sundar Pichai’s Blog on the Google for India Digitization FUND
Sundar Pichai, born and brought up in India, has some close feelings attached to the country and so he tries to pay back his motherland in any way possible. When he was young, every new technology brought some of the other new opportunities for him and also for others.
But like everyone, he too had to wait for it to arrive that technology to him. But today India no longer has to wait for technologies to come to them and instead they can create their own. What they are lacking is sometimes that little push and support and sometimes that lack of finances.
Sundar’s tilt towards India can be seen through his blog about the great Google Alphabet collaboration with India.
In the blog, he mentioned about how Indian youngsters have been using the new applications and services provided to them, in such a way that they make their lives and standard of living totally. There are more than 2,500 Indian YouTube creators who have over a million subscribers each.
Indian small businesses are going digital
With the current technological advancements, Indian small businesses have already made a mark by generating a high turnover by just being available online. Just four years ago, when only one-third of all small businesses in India had an online portal or any other kind of online presence.
Today around 26 million small businesses are discoverable on the Search and Maps of Google, that drives connections with more than 150 million users every month, and these connections are not restricted within India itself and rather now these small businesses which were not even known to people in the street next to where the business existed, and now it is known to faraway lands, that even contact them, maybe for their products.
These small businesses may seem just a drop of water when we might talk about its involvement in the nation’s economy and employment source, but just think of 22 million such small businesses, and in due course of time some of them may even emerge as big industries in the very future.
When technology is helping these businesses, the current situation is also, in a way giving them all an opportunity to come over the net and turn their business online.
The global pandemic has just changed people’s doubts over the security and credibility involved in digital payments and many other digital services like buying grocery online and many other important days to day tasks.
When something is built for India, it is built for India
Sundar Pichai also acknowledged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for Digital India which has proved to be effective in bringing billions of Indians online, which may be because of low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data and world-class telecom infrastructure.
All this has already made it a bit easy for Google to bring newer technologies into the hands of the people of India.
Google has been proudly partnered with India’s digitization journey since 2004 when Google opened its first offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore. In those days their main focus was though just to provide relevant information to users through search, whether it was about their Favorite Bollywood star or cricket scores.
From that very place, they started to spread awareness of the Internet in rural villages through programs like Internet Saathi. This initiative helped more than 30 million women across India to gain digital skills to improve their lives and community as well.
The most recent advancement brought by Google is GPay, the fastest, simple, and safe way to pay contactless or online. Along with the rise of BHIM-UPI adoption, GPay is now used by the rickshawala, small stores, the common people, and even many large businesses.
Google’s AI-powered reading tutor app Bolo that is now called Read-Along is another example of a technology that has been built specifically for Indians. Google also devised the AI Flood Forecasting System to keep people safe during India’s monsoon seasons by providing prior alerts and warnings.
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