Google to invest $10B in India’s adoption of digital services

It hopes to aid the country while capturing its growing market

Cody DeBos
Jul 13, 2020 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Image: Unsplash | Naveed Ahmed

India is perhaps the last major growth market for digital service companies. With a population of more than 1.3 billion people and a massive potential for capturing that audience, companies around the world are vying for a share.

On Monday, Google announced that it intends to invest $10 billion in India to help accelerate the country’s adoption of digital services. It will do so over the course of five to seven years. The move is Google’s latest show of support for digitalization in India and shows its commitment to the developing market.

Big Investment

The new funding will stem from Google’s India Digitization Fund. Through it, the search giant will make a variety of investments in the country.

India-born CEO Sundar Pichai said in a video conference, “We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.”

Google will focus its Indian investments in four key areas. The primary segment aims to increase affordable access to information for every Indian in their own language. That could be Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, or any other dialect.

Secondly, Google will focus on developing new products and services that address India’s unique needs. Currently, the nation has about 500 million people online and there are more than 450 million smartphones being used. That’s less than half of India’s total population.

The Big Tech firm also plans to work with local businesses to assist them with their digital transformation.

Finally, Google will work to use technologies like AI for social good. This will take place across sectors like healthcare, education, and agriculture.

“There’s still more work to do in order to make the internet affordable and useful for a billion Indians…from improving voice input and computing for all of India’s languages, to inspiring and supporting a whole new generation of entrepreneurs,” says Pichai.

Growing Importance

India is a key market for Google. Several of its services, including Search, YouTube, and Android have caught on now that a significant portion of the population is online. Still, there is plenty of room for growth.

Notably, Google’s announcement of a major investment occurs at a time when India is slowly cutting off Chinese tech firms. Last month, it banned 59 apps developed by Chinese companies. Among them are ByteDance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and Tencent’s WeChat.

The recent bans on Chinese tech could help American companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon gain a larger foothold in India. With less competition, Big Tech is going all-in on the Indian market.

Of course, Google isn’t new to investing in India. Since landing in the market in 2004, Google has established a variety of programs to extend its reach in the country. One of its main strategies is partnering with local smartphone vendors to make and sell low-cost devices.

It has also backed a number of Indian startups.

In May, reports emerged that Google was in talks with Vodafone Idea, the country’s second-largest telecom provider, to purchase a five percent stake.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how Google’s new $10 billion investment pans out. The money will go a long way towards helping India go digital while allowing Google to simultaneously stake a claim in the massive market.

Originally published at https://www.theburnin.com on July 13, 2020.

Digital Diplomacy

Technology, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with government and foreign policy

Sign up for We Are Digital Diplomacy

By Digital Diplomacy

Focus on technology, government, foreign policy and anything in between. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Cody DeBos

Written by

Staff Writer @ The Burn-In | YA author | Professional Freelancer | GoT & LoTR geek | GIF enthusiast | Business inquiries to owner@codydeboswriting.com

Digital Diplomacy

Technology, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with government and foreign policy

Cody DeBos

Written by

Staff Writer @ The Burn-In | YA author | Professional Freelancer | GoT & LoTR geek | GIF enthusiast | Business inquiries to owner@codydeboswriting.com

Digital Diplomacy

Technology, digital, and innovation, at the intersection with government and foreign policy

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store