Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Technology giant announced an investment of Rs 75,000 ($10 Billion) in India, over a period of 5 to 7 years under Google for India Digitisation Fund.
Ahead of the announcement, PM Narendra Modi held a video conference with Pichai and his other senior colleagues.
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. pic.twitter.com/IS9W24zZxs— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 13, 2020
The investments will be done through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, operations, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Google for India Digitisation Fund adds to the list of initiatives already undertaken by Google in India.
Some of the initiatives are Internet Sathi - rural awareness programme, Google Pay - UPI enabled online payment app and now discontinued Google Station - a program that rolled out free Wi-Fi in more than 400 railway stations in India and “thousands” of other public places.
Today at #GoogleForIndia we announced a new $10B digitization fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy. We’re proud to support PM @narendramodi’s vision for Digital India - many thanks to Minister @rsprasad & Minister @DrRPNishank for joining us. https://t.co/H0EUFYSD1q— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) July 13, 2020
The investment will be focused on 4 key areas.
Everyone should have access to the internet. Proud to partner with @reliancejio to increase access for the hundreds of millions in India who don’t own a smartphone with our 1st investment of $4.5B from the #GoogleForIndia Digitization Fund.https://t.co/1fP8iBZQfm— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) July 15, 2020
The investment plan also includes “focus on bringing more high-quality low-cost smartphones to enable Internet access”. But this is not the first time, earlier Google had launched an initiative called Android one with mobile companies like Karbbon, lava, Micromax, which didn’t do well because of the availability of cheaper Chinese devices in the market.
Earlier this year in January, Amazon.com Inc chief Jeff Bezos had announced an investment of $ 1 Billion. In April, Facebook announced an investment of $ 5.7 Billion in Reliance’s Jio Platforms Limited.
Since the central government’s move to curb Chinese investments in the Indian market and ban on 59 mobile apps, this fund will help fill in space.