Google will invest $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years, the search giant’s boss Sundar Pichai said on a webcast during the annual “Google for India” event. Google will use this investment to buy stakes in large Indian companies as well as niche digital service providers.
The announcement signals the company’s intent to scale up the India operations and get a stronghold on the Indian digital ecosystem. This comes right after Reliance Jio closed 12 rounds of funding in the last three months from marque investors including $5.7 billion from social media giant Facebook.
Sundar Pichai said that as a company Google wants to commit itself to India and sees great opportunity for Digital India and is excited by it.
“So building on our years of investment in India, we are launching a Google for India digitization Fund with a Rs 75,000 crore commitment which is $10 billion to be invested in India over the next five to seven years,” he said.
The fund will invest with both large as well as small companies and also invest in infrastructure such as building data centers etc.
Pichai did not confirm or deny rumours of stake acquisition talks in Reliance Jio or Vodafone-Idea and said the company will continue to build products out of India which will be scaled up globally like Google Pay. “Using this fund we want to build new products and services, invest in companies that build new products and services that are deeply relevant in India. We want to scale beyond English and other vernacular languages as well.” He added that there will be also a lot of focus on small and medium-sized businesses helping them in their digital journey apart from technologies such as artificial intelligence
“Sundar Pichai, who is heading Google, is a very powerful symbol of the creative potential of India’s human resource,” India’s technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the event.
Pichai also had a conversation with PM Narendra Modi on Monday.