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Google pledges Rs 75,000 cr for Indian digital economy

The investment will be over the next five to seven years.

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NEW DELHI: Google has announced that it will invest around Rs 75,000 crore ($10 billion) in India over the next five to seven years. The announcement was made by Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

“Google will do this as a mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in the ecosystem investments. Investments will focus on four areas: enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their own language, building products and services that cater to India's needs, empower businesses to transform digitally and lastly leveraging technology and AI for social good in health, agriculture and education,” Pichai announced.

“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy," Pichai said during the annual 'Google for India' event.

The CEO thanked prime minister Modi for the Digital India vision. He said, “Low-cost smartphones, affordable data, and world-class telecom infrastructure has helped digital India become a reality.”

Pichai shared, “India is setting the global standards on how to digitise payments and now it’s helping us to build the global product. Our AI-powered Bolo app is another example of technology build specifically for Indian users. Today, Indians do not have to wait to use the latest technology any longer.”

He also mentioned that the digitisation of small business has been a success story. Just four years ago, one-third of small businesses in India had an online presence, but today 26 million SMBs in India are searchable on Google platforms. 

“Digitisation of SMBs has increased greatly in India; small businesses are now joining the formal economy by using digital payments. India’s digital economy is far from complete. There is still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for billions of Indians,” Pichai added.

In the last year's summit, Google unveiled tokenised cards, an artificial intelligence lab in Bengaluru, BSNL partnership, Google Pay for Business app for merchants and expanded Indian language support across its products such as Google Assistant, Discover, Lens and Bolo. 

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