Google CEO Sunder Pichai, for the first time, visited the Indian Embassy in the US capital Washington DC and held discussions with India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu on various aspects of the technology company’s activities in the country.
“Pleased to welcome CEO @Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai @sundarpichai (opens in new tab) at the Embassy today. We exchange ideas on expanding partnership in India – 🇺🇸business, knowledge and technology with Google (sic)” Tweeted the Indian ambassador after the meeting (opens in new tab).
And Sundar Pichai, in turn, he responded (opens in new tab): “Thank you Ambassador @Sandhu TaranjitS (opens in new tab) for the big talk. We welcome the chance to discuss Google’s commitment to India and look forward to continuing our support for India’s digital future.”
Google, Pixel phones and India
The Indian government has recently stepped up its engagement with American CEOs. Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had a meeting with several Silicon Valley CEOs during his trip to California earlier this month. Sandhu himself met several CEOs during his recent trips there. He also visited Silicon Valley universities, considered the center of this innovation.
Even so, Sundar Pichai appearing at the Indian embassy today is seen as significant. It comes at a time when there are reports that Google plans to move some production of its Pixel phones to India from China. That would be significant if it happens.
Pichai’s visit to the Indian embassy only reinforces these rumours. The Google CEO, during the conversation, is also believed to have discussed various ways in which its partnership with India advances in particular in the education sector. They also discussed digitization efforts in India that Google is involved in, including digital payments and infrastructure digitization.
Under the Indian Pichai, Google has made massive investments in India and has phenomenally expanded its presence across a wide range of industries. Google, which has set aside $10 billion for its India Digitization Fund, has repeatedly confirmed its optimism about the country’s digital economy. Google invested $1 billion in Airtel. By 2020, it had invested $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms. Furthermore, it continues to fund interesting startups in India. It is working with the government on the Digital India Program and the national digital literacy mission.
Earlier this year, Pichai said, “A year ago, we announced a $10 billion Google for India Digitalization Fund. And it’s a reflection of our confidence in India’s future, its digital economy, our desire to build products there, that we believe will help us globally.”
So something interesting is cooking between India and Google for sure.