Gujarat, 24th June 2023: Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, revealed on Friday that the internet giant will establish its global fintech operations centre at GIFT City in Gujarat, following a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pichai also emphasized Google’s ongoing investments in India through its USD 10 billion India Digitisation Fund. Prime Minister Modi is currently in the United States from June 21 to June 24, having been invited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
In addition to meeting Pichai, the Prime Minister engaged with other top CEOs, including Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Tim Cook of Apple, Sam Altman of OpenAI, and Lisa Su of AMD, among others. Pichai expressed, “Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our global fintech operations center in GIFT City, Gujarat. This development will solidify India’s leadership in fintech, thanks to UPI and Aadhaar. We intend to build upon this foundation and expand globally.”
The Indian-origin CEO expressed his excitement at witnessing the country’s progress, particularly in realizing the vision of Digital India and the associated economic opportunities. Pichai revealed that he had met the Prime Minister in December, and their conversation had continued. He shared that Google’s investment of USD 10 billion through the India Digitisation Fund, which includes funding for AI-focused companies, would persist. Pichai also mentioned an upcoming initiative to introduce Google’s bot in more Indian languages as part of the company’s 100-language endeavour.
Praising the Prime Minister’s vision for Digital India ahead of its time, Pichai remarked that other countries now view it as a blueprint to emulate. The Ministry of External Affairs tweeted that Prime Minister Modi invited Pichai to explore further collaboration opportunities in the areas of artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity products and services, as well as mobile device manufacturing in India. The ministry also reported discussions on promoting research and development, as well as skill development, through collaboration between Google and academic institutions in India.
In July 2020, Google unveiled its intention to allocate a significant sum of USD 10 billion towards investments in India within the upcoming five to seven years. The objective behind this ambitious endeavour was to expedite the uptake of digital services within this pivotal international market. During his visit to India in December of the same year, Pichai made an announcement stating that a significant part of the India Digitisation Fund (IDF) would be dedicated to supporting startups led by women, with one-fourth of the USD 300 million funds earmarked for such entities.