Google said on Monday that it plans to invest $10 billion in India in the next five to seven years as the search giant looks to expand its presence in the key overseas market.
Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, today unveiled Google for India Digitization Fund through which it will be making the investments in the country.
“We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” he said at the company’s annual event focused on India.
Investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization:
India is a key overseas market for Google, where a range of its products and services including Search, YouTube, and Android have made inroads with much of the entire online population.
More than 500 million people in India, the world’s second most populous nation with 1.3 billion people, are online today and more than 450 million smartphones are in active use in the country.
“There’s still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians…from improving voice input and computing for all of India’s languages, to inspiring and supporting a whole new generation of entrepreneurs,” said Pichai.
Though Google, like every other American tech giant, makes only a fraction of its revenue from the world’s largest internet market. But that does not appear to be a priority for any American tech giant in India that are currently searching for their next hundreds of millions of users in developing markets.
Facebook, which rivals with Google and Amazon in India, made a $5.7 billion investment in Reliance Jio Platforms, the top telecom operator in the nation in April this year to digitize 60 million mom and pop stores in the country.
During his visit to India earlier this year, Jeff Bezos said Amazon plans to invest an additional $1 billion in India, totalling the company’s to-date commitment to $6.5 billion.
More to follow…