Google has announced a big investment in the Indian economy. At the Google For India 2020 virtual event, Sundar Pichai announced the new $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund. Through this, Google will invest approximately $10 billion in India over the next 5-7 years. It will be a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Pichai says this is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy. “Thanks to Prime Minister Modi’s vision for Digital India, the country has made huge progress in getting a billion Indians online. Low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data, and a world-class telecom infrastructure, have paved the way for new opportunities,” says Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet.
Google talks about how more than 26 million small businesses are now discoverable on Google Search and Google Maps in India with as many as 150 million users every month. Digital payments have played a big part in the change, which includes Google Pay that uses UPI payments for money transfers and bill payments. “The global pandemic has supercharged the adoption of digital tools. Digital payments, for example, have enabled families across India to access goods and services during lockdowns. For them, grocery delivery services have been invaluable—though I’m sure my grandmother misses haggling over the price of her vegetables in person,” says Pichai. Google talks about the program for internet in villages, called Internet Saathi. They say it has helped more than 30 million women across India gain digital skills to improve their lives and their communities.