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  Metros   Kolkata  06 Jan 2017  Next global software giants will be from India: Google CEO

Next global software giants will be from India: Google CEO

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANTANU CHOWDHURY
Published : Jan 6, 2017, 6:07 am IST
Updated : Jan 6, 2017, 6:18 am IST

Pichai said that Google was also working on projects like ‘Internet Saathi’ to educate people on Internet.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai interacts with the students of IIT-Kharagpur. (Photo: Santanu Chowdhury)
 Google CEO Sundar Pichai interacts with the students of IIT-Kharagpur. (Photo: Santanu Chowdhury)

Kharagpur: Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday said that the prices of smartphones in India need to come down to around $30 to increase access to the internet in rural areas. The Google’s India-born CEO was at his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur when he pitched for improving digital connectivity in India and exuded confidence that the next global software giants would emerge from India in the next 5 to 10 years.

“I would love to see cheaper smartphones, entry-level smartphones. I think we really need to bring the prices down even more, maybe at $30 level (about Rs 2,000) for India for entry-level smartphones,” he said while addressing an audience of 3,500 students and teachers at an event titled ‘Back on Campus with Sundar’.

Responding to queries on what would be the role of Google in the digitisation process of India, Mr Pichai said, “To really make a difference, we need to get Google working in as many languages as possible. English is spoken only by a small segment of the overall population. So just getting Google to work in other languages is a big focus.

“We have made progress today in Android, with search, we support many languages but we want to do all that better so that it works even in rural situations with the right dialects and so on. Secondly, connectivity is extremely important. We have been working on the wifi projects.”  

Mr Pichai said that Google was also working on projects like ‘Internet Saathi’ to educate people on Internet, especially rural women. He added that the company has also been able to roll out many programmes for Digital India through “effective public-private partnerships”.

When asked to comment on whether India would be able to catch up with China on the digital front, Mr Pichai said he was confident that India would be a global player in the digital economy. “I think I am absolutely, with full certainty, convinced that India will be a global player in the digital economy and will be competitive with any country in the world. We have all the foundation and we are going well as a country,” he said.

Speaking on the start-ups in India, the Google CEO said that the potential for such projects was there and asked young entrepreneurs to set their sights a bit higher and focus on South-east Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. “The potential is here and the market is developing. It will take a few more years to realise the potential. I am absolutely confident that the next global software giants would be from India in the next 5 to 10 years,” he said.

Tags: google, sundar pichai, smartphones
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]