Google pledges $10bn for India's digital economy

Google pledges $10bn for India's digital economy

Sundar Pichai Google.png

The tech giants have been a partner in India’s digitization journey since 2004, with the opening of its first offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured) announced a $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy.

The company is set to invest in India over the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.

The investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization:

  • enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other

  • building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs

  • empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation

  • leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education, and agriculture

As we make these investments, we look forward to working alongside Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government, as well as Indian businesses of all sizes to realize our shared vision for a Digital India,” said Pichai.

“There’s no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live.

“But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation. Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation but leads it. Working together we can ensure that our best days are still ahead.”

Pichai added that one of “the most exciting success stories” has been the digitization of small businesses.

“Just four years ago, only one-third of all small businesses in India had an online presence. Today, 26 million SMBs are now discoverable on Search and Maps, driving connections with more than 150 million users every month,” he added.

“What’s more, small merchants across the country are now equipped to accept digital payments. This has made it possible for more small businesses to become part of the formal economy, and it improves their access to credit.”