Google CEO Sundar Pichai is in Delhi today, where he, along with a host of other Google executives, will be hosting an event at 10:30AM. The event is also being attended by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, and if the media invite is anything to go by, Pichai is expected to make announcements focused on small business and startups in India.
“Small and Medium Businesses are the backbone of the Indian economy and are powering the next wave of the country’s growth. At Google, we are excited about partnering the businesses to help them unlock exponential growth through the power of digital,” the invite read. Pichai could be make announcements that are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Digital India, Startup India, and Skill India initiatives.
Sundar Pichai is expected to make announcements related to Digital Unlocked platform. This is basically an online learning tool for SMBs and startups, and it is certified by Google and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Recently, Google had announced a program with the aim of training over two million developers on the Android platform. Similarly, the company could launch skill programs for SMBs, as well as help them come online to reach a far wider audience.
Another aspect of today’s announcement could be about Google’s suite of services and tools to help SMBs mark their online presence. Google offers its suite of cloud services as well as tools for online identity including building websites and having proprietary email addresses.
Pichai could also elaborate on Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program in India. Recently, seven Indian startups joined the third batch of the launchpad accelerator, which is essentially a platform bringing together the founders with experts from Google. Over the last one year, 13 Indian startups have participated in the program and some of them have successfully raised funding.
Google’s initiative to offer free Wi-Fi at Indian railway stations has been a huge hit, and we can expect some related announcements. Recently the service was rolled out at the 100th station. According to Google, over 10 million Indians now have an access to fast internet, and service boasts over 5 million monthly users. Recently, Google also introduced Google Station, which gives partners an easy set of tools to roll-out Wi-Fi hotspots in public places.
After today’s event, Pichai will also visit his alma mater — IIT Kharagpur. The Google CEO has a BTech degree in metallurgical and materials engineering. After passing out in 1993, he went on to do a masters in Engineering and Materials Science from Stanford University, followed by an MBA from the Wharton School.
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