Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced Rs. 75,000 crore or $10 billion for India Digitization Fund over the next 5-7 years.
India Digitization Fund will be a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Investments will focus on four areas: First, enabling affordable access and information for 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 their digital transformation; and fourth, 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 Sundar Pichai.
“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,” added Pichai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Indians are adjusting to and adopting technology at a rapid pace. He talked about farmers benefiting from technology and the possible wide-ranging benefits of AI in agriculture. The Prime Minister explored the idea of virtual labs that can be used by students as well as farmers.
Sundar Pichai briefed the Prime Minister about new products and initiatives by Google in the country. He mentioned about the launch of AI Research Lab in Bengaluru, while also highlighting the benefits of Google’s flood forecasting efforts.
For Google, a big opportunity is digitization of small businesses. Presently, 26 million SMBs are now discoverable on search and maps, driving connections with more than 150 million users every month but more can be achieved in years to come.