In 2020, Google had made headlines when they announced that they would be investing over $10 billion over the next 5-7 years. Through the India Digitization Fund, they will be making investments in India in various sectors.
Four Areas of Investment
- First, enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other
- Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs
- Third, empowering businesses as they continue to embark on their digital transformation
- Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education and agriculture
They laid down the road map in their 7th Google for India event. Some of the areas are:
Now Google Assistant can be used for the end-to-end vaccination program. Using Google Assistant, you can choose the vaccine slot, which will only require Aadhar Card for registration.
Google in Multi-languages
Now Indian users have the benefit of choosing the Google web page in the language of their choice.
Google for Students
Google has even started Google Career Support to help students find employment.
Hinglish Google Pay
Google Pay will be available in Hindi from 22 and more regional languages to follow. Google Pay manages $400 billion transactions annually, also announce that Bill Split will be available from next year. Even the Pay-via-voice feature will follow.
Is increased Digitization going to benefit Indian Businesses?
With still half of the Indian population without access to the internet, businesses cannot grow to the extent as is possible in other countries.
Google’s partnership with Jio shows how Indian businesses will benefit from increased access to customers. Google plans to bring more affordable and localized smartphones to Indians. JioPhone Next comes with Google developed OS called Pragati. It has features such as Translate and Read Aloud to help first-time internet users. Google is also working on local filters to evolve the JioPhone Next smartphone.
To help merchants, Google has announced MyShop a quick store builder tool, where merchants using Google Pay can easily add images, descriptions, prices of their business and then share the same online through their Business Profile.
Sanjay Gupta, VP of Google India, said, “We are India’s first company, for billion Indians.” He said that the digital economy has increased in India with 2.5X new smartphone users added after the pandemic. The UPI transaction has touched $ 3.5 billion in valuation and people are spending 20 percent more time on smartphones.
Google is even helping many start-ups in India. They recently partnered with social commerce start-ups. Meesho, its recent partnership is a three-sided marketplace, which connects suppliers and resellers with customers on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram.
The aim of the business is to help women start and grow their businesses with as little capital as possible.
Meesho even counts Facebook, B Capital, SoftBank, Sequoia Capital India, Y Combinator, and Elevation Capital among its earliest investors.
India’s e-commerce sector is expected to grow to $99 billion by 2024. No wonder Google is interested to grow in India.