Google announces $10 billion 'digitization' fund for India

U.S. tech giant Google is investing in a $10 billion fund to help accelerate India’s transition to a digital economy in the next five to seven years

NEW DELHI -- U.S. tech giant Google is investing in a $10 billion fund to help accelerate India’s transition to a digital economy in the next five to seven years.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc's Google, said Monday that the project will focus on building products that are relevant to India’s needs and empowering businesses for their “digital transformation.”

“Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it,” Pichai said in a digital keynote at a Google for India event.

The company also announced it will invest $1 million to support digital education in India. It said the fund will enable 1 million teachers in 22,000 schools across the country to use Google services that can facilitate online learning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made digitization a major priority for India.

He envisions a “Digital India,” where high-speed Internet access will empower entrepreneurs to build software and other technology products to help raise the standard of living in a country where many households are still impoverished.

Modi styles himself as a leader in touch with technology. He has nearly 60 million Twitter followers.

Modi said in a tweet that he and Pichai met and discussed a wide range of subjects, “particularly leveraging the power of technology to transform the lives of India’s farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs."

“I was delighted to know more about the efforts of @Google in several sectors, be it in education, learning, @—DigitalIndia, furthering digital payments and more," he said.