India-born Sundar Pichai, the chief of Alphabet and Google, announced that the search giant is increasingly focusing on startups from India as part of its S10 billion India Digitisation Fund (IDF), launched in 2020, to accelerate India’s digital economy.
“One-fourth of the $300 million taken from the IDF will be used for supporting startups run by women,” he said at the Google For India 2022 event on December 19.
During a fireside chat at the event with Telecommunications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Pichai said, “The pace of technological change in the country has been extraordinary and Google is supporting small businesses and startups, investing in cybersecurity, providing education and skills training, and applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) in sectors like agriculture and healthcare.”
Google had stated in July 2020 that it will invest $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years to hasten the uptake of digital services.
In his blogpost, Pichai wrote: “I’m here to see progress being made from our USD 10 billion, 10-year India Digitisation Fund (IDF), and share new ways. We’re helping to advance India’s digital future at our Google for India event.
“That includes our efforts to build a single, unified AI model that will be capable of handling over 100 Indian languages across speech and text – part of our global effort to bring the world’s 1,000 most-spoken languages online, and to help people access knowledge and information in their preferred language.”