Authored by Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & Vice President, Google India
Over the past year, our teams in India and around the world have continued to focus on building a more useful and inclusive internet experience. At our ninth annual Google for India event in New Delhi, we shared how we’re working to meet the diversity of the country’s local languages, build tools to deliver better experiences between merchants and shoppers, and utilize the power of India’s home-grown Digital Public infrastructure to help realize the dream of “Digital India.”
Here are five things we announced at this year’s Google for India:
Manufacturing Pixel smartphones in India
Since launching our first Pixel phones in India, we’ve seen encouraging responses. At Google for India this year, we announced our plan to start manufacturing Pixel smartphones in India in an effort to make them more widely available across the country. We intend to start with the Pixel 8, and will partner with international and domestic manufacturers to produce Pixel smartphones locally. We expect them to start to roll out in 2024, joining India’s momentous “Make in India” initiative.
Making our products even better through AI and local partnerships
We showed a more visual and local generative AI experience on Search, and will soon start surfacing AI-powered overviews for over 100 crucial government programs around employment, housing, healthcare, farming, women’s welfare, and more. We’ll also roll out Search features to help small businesses show up better in Search results with a more visual, relevant and easily-filterable product feed. And with the power of generative AI, they’ll be able to easily create high-quality catalogs of their products to deliver richer shopping experiences.
Expanding the reach of formal credit in India
India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has been a game changer for the Indian economy. Today, alongside our financial ecosystem partners, we announced that Google Pay users will now be able to easily find and make payments for pre-approved credit lines from banks. Built on a foundation of consent and privacy safeguards, we hope this will enable millions of underserved but eligible Indians across India to now access formal credit. We also announced that India’s Small Businesses will now have access to formal credit with more flexibility and convenience to meet their working capital needs.
Using our Cloud infrastructure for citizen-centric services and solutions
To help expand the benefits of technology to people and small businesses across India, Google Cloud announced a range of collaborations with several of the country’s key organizations. Google Cloud and Axis My India — one of the country’s leading media companies — announced the launch of an inclusive and multilingual super-app called “a.” Its purpose is to grow people’s awareness and access to government social welfare programs, basic day-to-day amenities, employment opportunities and healthcare benefits. This app will use Google Cloud’s infrastructure to help bring access to Indians across the country, whether they live in rural or urban areas. We also announced an expanded partnership with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to help Farmer Producer Organizations more efficiently and easily sell their produce online, and a collaboration with the international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce real-time payment systems via UPI for easier overseas payments.
Strengthening the safety of the Indian internet
Ensuring digital safety is crucial for both individuals and society as a whole. For people to confidently use the internet in all aspects of their lives, it’s vital to develop and implement safeguards to protect people from scams, malware and online fraud. Today we announced our DigiKavach initiative, our collaborative effort to work with industry partners and committed experts to share insights and combat online financial fraud. The program aims to study how scammers operate, and work in tandem to develop and implement countermeasures to new emerging scams — collectively creating a safer and more secure digital ecosystem.