It is big money: $10 billion. That is what Google’s parent company plans to drop into India as a new redesign begins. That redesign is the digitization of India. India has more than 500 million internet users; Google will find quick IP addresses therein, without managing clusters of 50 countries, as in Africa. If you add what Walmart, Amazon and Facebook have invested in India in the last five years, you can understand that American tech companies see their futures in India.
Walmart invested in India’s leading ecommerce company, Amazon has been pumping money that even a federal minister was worried about, and a few weeks ago, Facebook shipped truckloads of U.S. dollars to Jio, a telecom operator. Now, Google continues the party for team India.
In all these things, these firms have maintained one thing: India gave us a template of its digital future, and we see a path to partnership. Digital India is agnostic of party and impervious to the vagaries of policy somersaults. India has sustained it for years.
Contrast with Nigeria where every new minister in the information technology ministry would like to develop its own ICT plan, only for a successor to abandon it four years later. When that becomes the norm, no one understands the end-goal, and capital stays out. Nigeria needs to play long-term on our policies so that we can unlock quality capital.
Google will invest $10bn (£7.93bn) in India in the next five to seven years, the chief executive of its parent company Alphabet Inc has announced.
Sundar Pichai spoke at the annual Google for India event, held online.
The investment will be used to build products and services for India, help businesses go digital and use technology “for social good”.
“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Mr Pichai said.
With more than 500 million active internet users in the country, India is perhaps the biggest potential growth market for Google.
The investment will be made through the Google for India Digitisation Fund
Mr Pichai said the fund would focus on four areas to scale up digital infrastructure in India. It would:
- enable “affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language”
- “build new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs”
- empower local businesses who want to go digital
- “leverage technology and AI [artificial intelligence] ]for social good” in sectors like health, education and agriculture