India Digitization Fund: Today, on the 13th of July, Google hosted its Google for India Digital Event. It was a digital event for the first time due to the Covid-19 scenario. Mr. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, addressed the virtual audience. The mission of the event was to release the tech giant’s decision to support India’s Digital Future. The event aimed to unlock “new opportunities as India heads into a new, digital-first future”.
The Google CEO, apart from the professional announcements, also talked about some personal life experiences. Especially, the ones when he lived in India.
He addressed the benefits of digital payments in India in his keynote speech. India-born Pichai says that digital payment services have allowed the people in India access to many goods and services during the Lockdowns.
He says, “For them, grocery delivery services have been invaluable.” He also adds on a humorous note that he is sure that his grandmother must be missing the haggle over the price of her vegetables in person.
Recently turning 48, Pichai also reminisces his childhood days. He says that he would be drawn to the television screen every evening to watch Doordarshan’s special rendition, ‘Saare Jahaan Se Acha’. He also adds that he tried to explain the excitement this memory contained. “ In the end, I gave up and played it on Youtube for them instead,” he concludes in his speech.
The key announcement of the event was the tech giants’ decision to invest over 75,000 crores ($10 billion) in India to boost its digital economy. This investment would be made over a period of 5-7 years. This expenditure of Google will be made through equity investments and tie-ups. This will mark its biggest commitment to a growth market.
CEO Pichai says that the concerned move is a reflection of the company’s confidence in the future of India and its digital economy. “This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy”. These were the exact words of pride by the Alphabet CEO during the webcast.
India Digitization Fund The focus of the investments will be on four key areas. These are the areas of India’s digitization projects. This will include: India Digitization Fund
- Enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their language.
- Building new products and services relevant to India’s unique linguistic and usability needs.
- Empowering businesses as they carry on with embarking in the digital transformation.
- Employing Technology and Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like healthcare, 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,” he adds further.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications, Electronics and IT, Law & Justice was also present at the event. He addressed the audience about the digital transformation of India. Also, India’s HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal talked about the education scenario in India.
Exposure to small businesses. “Today, 26 million SMBs are now discoverable on Search and Maps, driving connections with more than 150 million users every month. 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,” Pichai exclaims about the small businesses.
He also adds, “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 comments, “A whole new generation of technologies are happening in India first. It’s been incredible to see the rapid pace of change unfolding over my past few visits. From the excitement of young people using the latest apps and services, to the ways people are using smartphones to improve lives in rural villages, to the more than 2,500 Indian YouTube creators who each have over a million subscribers. I’ve actually turned to some of these creators for help over the last few weeks…for example, to learn how to make dishes like paneer makhani or pizza with my kids.”
Pichai also expresses his pride to be a part of India’s digitization journey since 2004. He thanks PM Modi’s vision for Digital India. He addresses the huge progress India has made in getting a billion Indians Online.
Google’s efforts in India have indeed enhanced our understanding of how technology can be helpful and what it can do. Without it, it would have been very difficult to recognize its usefulness and importance in the lives of different people. They always built products for India first, which not only benefitted us but also helped them to serve users everywhere better.