Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced an investment of Rs 75,000 crore or approximately $10 billion into India over the next five to seven years through the ‘Google for India Digistation Fund’. This move is significant as it comes in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and multinational companies across the world look at alternative investment destinations.
“Excited to announce Google for India Digitisation Fund. Through it, we will invest Rs 75,000 crore or approx $10 billion into India over the next 5-7 yrs. We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in ecosystem investments,” said Pichai.
Pichai along with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad virtually attended the sixth annual edition of Google for India. “This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” said Pichai. He added that the investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization.
Listing out the areas, Pichai elaborated, “First enabling affordable access and information to every Indian in their own 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 the digital transformation. Fourth, leveraging technology in AI for social good in areas like health, education and agriculture.”
“When I was young, every piece of technology brought new opportunities to learn and grow but I always had to wait for it to arrive from some places. Today people in India no more have to wait for technology to come to you. A whole new generation of technologies is happening in India first,” said Pichai.
Earlier today Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Pichai and discussed a range of subjects like a new work culture in coronavirus times, data security, and cyber safety. The Prime Minister termed that interaction 'fruitful' and lauded Google’s efforts in the field of education, Digital India and digital payments.
“This morning, had an extremely fruitful interaction with Sundar Pichai. 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,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
During the interaction, the challenges that the global pandemic has brought to areas such as sports were also discussed. “During our interaction, Sundar Pichai 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,” the Prime Minister tweeted
“I was delighted to know more about the efforts of Google in several sectors, be it in education, learning, Digital India, furthering digital payments, and more,” he said in another tweet.