Google’s Love for India and Vice-Versa

Google's logo on a building

Google, the search engine hegemon has long been looking at the Indian market more than just a market. According to an Economic Times report, Google is launching an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Lab in Bengaluru in order to create products for India and also the rest of the world. The Lab will be led by Manish Gupta, an SEM (Society for Experimental Mechanics) Fellow.

The Indian techies have a high demand all over the world but especially so in the US as thousands of Indian techies flock to the states each year. This mass migration of Indian techies has always raised concerns among the Indian community as it is a major brain drain. Moreover, this is a costly affair for American companies as well. If these companies could come to India and set up their major offices, this would solve the below problems:

  1. The cost of running a business in India is lower compared to that of in the States.
  2. The Indian government will be supportive as it is a beneficial proposition for the country.
  3. The current US government is against mass immigration of Indian workers taking up the jobs in the country. It’s better for the American companies to set up offices in India and hire the employees in India itself

American companies have started setting up their huge offices in India. Recently, Amazon, the American online retail giant has its largest office in the world set up in Hyderabad, India. This gives confidence to other companies and it is a good sign for India.

Indian union minister for electronics and IT, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad met the Indian origin CEO Sundar Pichai last week in its US headquarters. The economic times reported that Mr. Prasad told the Google CEO to make India a Launchpad for Google products. He also claimed that whatever succeeds in India will succeed in the world. This stands true for Google. For instance, Google’s mobile paying platform ‘Google Pay’ was launched as ‘Google TEZ’ for the Indian market first with the help of the Indian UPI payments systems. After its overnight success in India, it was launched as the Google Pay for the global market.

The Indian market is so crucial for Google and the major reason behind it is the sheer number of new consumers. The Indian market is full of potential customers who are yet to come online. Google’s plan for the next billion online has an estimated 500 million just from India. This proves the importance of this huge market. While other large and growing economies already have most of their population online, the Indian market is quite different with only around 40% of people using the internet. This has changed rapidly in recent years with the advent of cheap smartphones and even cheaper internet. Having said that, the internet coverage and its average speed are still not at par with the global standards.

Another reason for Google’s extra care of India is the amount of acceptability of Google’s products and services in the country. According to the company’s data, Hindi is the second most used language globally for Google Assistant after English. This indicates that Google’s products are loved by Indian users and adapted easily. Now, Google is also working with BSNL, state-run telecom operator to provide Wi-Fi hotspots in the rural areas of Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra after their streak with the Indian Railways.

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