18th June 2023,Mumbai: According to Karan Bhatia, Google’s worldwide head of government relations and public policy, India is a crucial international marketplace for the tech giant. Bhatia expressed his enthusiasm for India’s future, emphasizing the country’s significant role in Google’s operations over the past two decades.
Bhatia praised India as a hub of extraordinary talent and invention that has played a vital role in creating and empowering Google products globally. He noted the rapid increase in internet usage and the proliferation of digital-first businesses, particularly in rural areas. Bhatia acknowledged the Indian government’s commitment to digitalization and its understanding of the importance of digital policies in driving the nation’s growth.
Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s digital-first approach, Bhatia emphasized the government’s efforts to promote the use of digital technologies, exemplified by initiatives like Aadhar. He credited the government’s leadership for making a significant contribution to India’s participation in the global digital network.
Looking ahead, Bhatia expressed his desire for increased partnerships between the United States and India in the digital space, envisioning a doubling of collaborations within the next three years. He regarded Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US as an opportunity to strengthen the partnership and trade links, particularly in technology and digital sectors.
Google’s commitment to India’s digital transformation is evident through its product development for the Indian market and strategic alliances with companies like Jio, Airtel, and promising startups. Bhatia highlighted the USD 10 billion investment made by Google through the India Digitization Fund, further emphasizing the company’s dedication to fostering innovation and supporting Indian businesses.
Bhatia noted that Google views itself as an AI-first company and has been investing in AI capabilities for years. He mentioned the recent partnership with IIT Madras to expand AI presence in India and highlighted the potential for AI collaborations between Indian companies and Google. Bhatia emphasized the need for high-level discussions to enable and address challenges in promoting collaboration between the US and India in the field of AI.
He concluded by stating that numerous businesses, including Google, have a strong interest in expanding and investing in India. Bhatia recognized the competitive nature of the global market and praised the Indian government’s focus on attracting investment, especially in the technology sector, as it plays a crucial role in economic development. He urged the creation of a favorable policy and regulatory environment that encourages innovation and cross-border partnerships.
In summary, India’s creative talent and dynamic market have positioned the country as a key contributor to Google’s global success. Google recognizes India’s potential for growth and aims to continue investing in partnerships, alliances, and innovative initiatives that empower Indian businesses and drive digital transformation.
-by Kashvi Gala