Google for India 2020 key announcements: $10bln Digitization fund, Prasar Bharti tie-up, and more
Company CEO Sundar Pichai along with Sanjay Gupta - country head and vice president and others made the announcements.
Google today made a few important announcements for its services in India during the Google for India 2020 conference. The announcements came in the form of investments and collaborations that the search giant will be making in different sectors to expand its services. Company CEO Sundar Pichai along with Sanjay Gupta - country head and vice president, Caeser Sengupta - vice president of payments and Next Billion Users and Sapna Chadha – senior country marketing director at Google India, made the announcements.
Pichai announced a ‘Google for India Digitization Fund' at the sixth edition of Google for India event. As a part of this, the company will invest ₹75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion in India in the coming five to seven years. As mentioned during the event, the firm will roll out the fund through equity investments (CapitalG.), partnerships, operational and infrastructure ecosystem investments.
Pichai added that the investment will focus on four key areas including Indian languages, building products relevant to India, empowering businesses and leveraging technology and AI for social good.
“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 said in his keynote.
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
In addition to this, Google partnered with government's public broadcasting arm Prasar Bharti to launch edutainment series for SMBs. As announced by Caeser Sengupta, the edutainment series will feature success stories of Indian businesses going digital.
“And now in partnership with Prasar Bharti, we're also launching an edutainment series on Doordarshan on how small businesses can adopt digital tools and adapt to the current situation using examples of real-life Indian businesses,” said Sengupta.
Another announcement made during Google for India 2020 event was regarding the $1 million grant for enhancing quality of virtual education. Google's head of Marketing in India and Southeast Asia, Sapna Chadha said that the company's philanthropic arm, Google.org will provide a grant of $1 million to Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF). Also mentioned was that with these funds, KEF would work with the Central Square Foundation and TeacherApp and will train 700,000 teachers across the country to deliver virtual education so the students can continue learning at home.
Adding to the list of announcements, Pichai said that ‘Bolo' app which was launched last year is now renamed as ‘Read Along' and has gone global with availability in 180 countries in a total of 9 languages. He added that GPay had set a global standard for digitised payments. “Together with the rise in BHIM UPI adoption GPay makes it easier to pay rickshawala or send money to family back home...India is setting a global standard on how to digitise payments and it is now helping us build a global product,” Pichai said during his address.
Lastly, it was mentioned that Google is working on a global payments product that will be based on its India-exclusive G Pay platform.
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