Google has declared that it will pump in US$ 10B in India over the next five to seven years on 13 July. The motive behind this investment is to help India along its path towards digitization.
Google aims to consolidate its position in the digital ecosystem of India, as it is becoming a battleground for global internet giants. This investment comes under Google’s Digitization Fund. It is looking forward to its operational expansion and investment into various companies.
Earlier this year, Google’s rival company, Facebook had invested US$ 5.7B in the digital platform of India’s largest conglomerate Reliance. Google’s investment is almost double of that amount.
The CEO of Alphabet Inc. owned Google, Sundar Pichai said at the ‘Google for India’ virtual summit, “The funds will be deployed through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.” He also said that the investment will focus on 4 key areas –
- Building new products for India
- Digitising businesses
- Applying technology and AI in Health
- Education and Agriculture
Google’s future plans
Google is planning to utilize the funds to provide affordable internet access to all the citizens. Moreover, it aims to empower Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to help in digital transformation and leverage technology and Artificial Intelligence for social good. Digital literacy and support especially in rural India will get due focus.
Further, this country specific investment is first of its kind for Google. Sundar Pichai however, did not deny or confirm Google’s intentions to invest in Reliance Jio or a stake acquisition in the telecom company Vodafone Idea.
“India is setting global standards in digital payments. Building products for India first has helped us build better products. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.” said Pichai.
India has been looking at investment from various US internet giants including, Google, Facebook, Amazon. Moreover, these giants are investing billions of dollars in the Indian economy to capture the untapped internet market and lay the foundation for future growth. Also, in India, around half of the population does not have access to the Internet. Therefore, it is an attractive market for companies to provide various services like digital payments, video streaming, search etc.
“It’s a unique opportunity given where India is poised. We are looking forward to working with Indian businesses of all sizes”, said CEO Sundar Pichai.