New Delhi: Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a USD 10 billion or Rs 75,000-crore fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy. Called the ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’, it would be used over the next five-seven years through equity investments and tie-ups. Also Read - Google CEO Sundar Pichai Recalls Days of Struggle, Says His Father Spent a Year's Salary on His Flight Ticket to US
Pichai made this announcement through a webcast during the annual ‘Google For India’ event, which was also attended by Union IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad and HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. Also Read - Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai's 2019 Compensation Topped $280 Million
“Excited to announce Google for India Digitisation Fund. Through it, we’ll invest Rs 75,000 Cr or approx US$10 billion into India over the next five-seven years.We’ll do this through mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in ecosystem investments”, Pichai announced at the event. Also Read - Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Receives Annual Take-home Pay of USD 2 Million After Pay Hike: Report
The Google CEO also said that the fund was a reflection of the company’s confidence in India’s future and its digital economy.
Later, he tweeted: “Today at Google For India, we announced a new USD 10 billion digitisation fund to help accelerate India’s digital economy. We’re proud to support PM Modi’s vision for Digital India. May thanks to Minister RS Prasad and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank for joining us”.
In a statement, Google said that the investment would focus on four areas key to India’s digitisation. These are:
(1.) Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other;
(2.) Building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs;
(3.) Empowering businesses as they continue with or embark on their digital transformation;
(4.) Leveraging technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for social goods, in areas like health, education, agriculture etc.
Earlier today, Pichai also had a discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which, PM Modi said, they spoke on a wide range of subjects.
“This morning, had an extremely fruitful interaction with Sundar Pichai. We spoke on a wide range of subjects, particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs”, the Prime Minister tweeted.