Google CEO Sundar Pichai is bullish about India’s digital economy - Here is why

Google for India 2021
(Image credit: Google India)

Google, which has set aside $10 billion for its India Digitization Fund, has again confirmed its optimism on the country's digital economy. Google last week had invested $1 billion in Airtel. It had, in 2020, put $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms. Further, it continues to fund interesting startups in India. 

And Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai now says it all shows his company's confidence in the future of the country and its digital economy.

"A year ago, we announced a $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund. And it’s a reflection of our confidence in the future of India, its digital economy, our desire to build products there, which we think will help us globally," he said at the company's investors call.

Experience in India is standing Google in good stead

Sundar Pichai

(Image credit: Google)

To a specific question on using the experience of developing products for India to inform what Google should be doing everywhere else, the Indian-born CEO of Google said that trend is going to continue. Specifically pointing out the payments strategy it evolved in India, Pichai said, "it’s informed our payment strategy globally." 

He added: "In general, we are trying to think deeper about these newer markets, as it really lines up with our mission of building a more equitable Internet for everyone."

Pichai further gave the example of Google's video platform YouTube, and some of its plans are first piloted in India. The country was among the first to test its short-form videos platform. "We'll do it there (in India) and then roll it out globally. We are constantly looking for opportunities like that," he said.

But why India?

Stating that YouTube Shorts continues to drive significant engagement, Pichai said "We just hit 5 trillion all-time views and have over 15 billion views each day globally. This is helping our creator community reach newer and bigger audiences. In fact, more people are creating content on YouTube than ever before."

Not just that. Google is also apparently piloting some of its revenue-generating ideas from the experience its garners through YouTube in India.

In Pichai's own words: "When I look at YouTube in India, some of the commerce ideas we talked about earlier, you may see us first stride in India." 

The reason for using India as a test case is "we can get quicker feedback, very dynamic youthful population. And so we’ll do it there and then roll it out globally. So we are constantly looking for opportunities like that."

Going forward, Google will look to stay focused on evolving our knowledge and information products, including Search, Maps and YouTube, to be even more helpful, the CEO said.

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Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.