Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in India and during his tour he unveiled a gamut of initiatives for India and also visited his alma mater, IIT-Kharagpur, after 23 years. While Pichai was in India, he outlined Google's vision for India and how the country was important for the tech giant.
Pichai said India was moving towards digitalisation and many programmes had already started changing the game.
Since Pichai was named the CEO, Google has taken a number of initiatives for India as the nation is becoming prominent on the global map.
Here are 8 main initiatives that Google has taken under Pichai's leadership so far
Google's Digital Unlocked is company's latest initiative to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills to help them get online and grow their business. Under the Digital Unlocked training program, Google is committed to ensure that every single small business in India should get access to quality training, online and offline.
Google has partnered with FICCI for the offline training, under which 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities over the next three years. The online training comprises a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials, curated specifically for India and is available free of charge at g.co/digital unlocked.
For India's mobile-first audience, Google also launched Primer, a free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. It is available for download through the Google Play and iOS app store. Primer also works offline and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.
Google’s My Business Program
Google My Business program is aimed at helping small medium businesses get an online presence on Google Search and Google Maps, without having to invest in a website or domain. Over 8 million Indian SMBs are already on these platforms, with thousands more coming online every month.
Google My Business Website Initiative
On January 4, 2017, the company previewed My Business Websites initiative, which is aimed at equipping the vast majority of small businesses with a simple way to start their digital journey by creating a free, mobile optimized website, easily and instantly.
Available for Google My Business users later in the year, the initiative will provide simple, templated, editable websites for small businesses created from their data and photos on Google Maps. My Business Websites will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
Internet Saathi Initiative
It was in July 2015, when Google joined hands with Tata to launch Internet Saathi initiative. Under the "Internet Saathi" programme, 1,000 specially designed bicycles having connected devices were introduced to give villagers an experience of Internet over a period of four to six months.
The initiative aims to cover 4,500 villages over the next 18 months, starting with Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jharkhand and targets to reach out to about five lakh women. The initiative aims to provide information on farming techniques, payment of school fees, bills, etc.
Google Hindi Keyboard
Under Google India initiative, the company introduced translation and support for several Indian languages. Android Keyboard now supports almost 11 Indian languages and the Indian users can now load pages faster. Besides, Google is also working to make internet accessible even on 2G networks and recently announced plans to roll out "Tap to Translate" feature on Android smartphones, which is supposed to eradicate the cumbersome task of copy-paste routine whenever people need to get their text translated.
Google Hyderabad Campus
In his last visit, Sundar Pichai talked about Google's plans to build a new campus at Hyderabad. Besides, Pichai also talked about ramping up company's engineering investments at Bengaluru and Hyderabad facilities.
The search engine giant Google collaborated with Indian Railways and Railtel to launch RailWire Wifi. The plan involves providing infrastructure for high-speed Wi-Fi across 400 stations in India. As per recent reports, Google has successfully installed high-speed Wi-Fi service at 100 Indian railway stations. Mumbai Central was the first place to get Wi-Fi in January 2016.
Besides these initiatives, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has affirmed that the digital payment technology could soon have the backing of Google. The company was considering making such move and would work hard on bringing some of its services on top of the Unified Payments Interface.