In its sixth edition of Google For India, held virtually, Google announced its partnership with Prasar Bharati to launch a new initiative as part of its ongoing efforts towards the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cashing in on the popularity and wider reach of the public broadcaster, Google will be 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. Now more than ever, to survive and grow, every Indian business must be a digital business, Caesar Sengupta, GM and VP, payments and next billion users, Google, said while talking about the Covid-19 impact on small businesses and creating economic opportunity. “We are investing in helping Indian businesses go digital and helping Indian workers learn, grow and find better jobs,” he elaborated.
Additionally, talking about the Spot Platform on Google Pay, Sengupta shared that the Google Pay Nearby Stores Spot which was introduced in March this year to improve offline merchant discoverability and to help people find shops near them to see what essential food items are in stock, has been used by more than two million users. To support people who are looking for work, he shared that the Job Spot on Google Pay, now allows for remote interviews and remote work listings so that people who are unemployed can secure employment and income more quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a Rs 75,000 crore (roughly $10 billion) ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’ in a bid to help accelerate India’s digital economy. Google plans to make this investment over the next five-seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.
The Google for India Digitisation Fund will focus on four key areas, Pichai said in his keynote. Firstly, Google is looking to “enable” affordable access to information in local languages including Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi and others. Secondly, it is looking to “build” new products and services relevant to the country’s unique needs. Google is also looking to empower businesses and leveraging AI for social good in areas like health, education, and agriculture.
“It’s been incredible to see the rapid pace of change unfolding over my past few visits in India. 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. Google’s efforts in India have deepened our understanding of how technology can be helpful to different types of people. Building products for India first, has helped us build better products for users everywhere. But India’s own digital journey is far from complete. There’s still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians,” Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet, said.
According to Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice president, Google India, over the last several years, under the “Next Billion Users” initiative, Google has solved for India by understanding the challenges of India better and building products and solutions that can help Indians get more out of the Internet. “ India has always been a strategic and important focus for Google. Today, we are recommitting ourselves to partner deeply and support India in becoming a truly digital nation by making the Internet helpful for a billion Indians and empowering India to become a leading digital economy,’ he added.