Google to Help a Billion Indians Go Online

How, did you ask?

Google has enabled nine Indian languages to work on the new AI-enabled Google Translate, and it has doubled the number of Indian languages on Gboard, its custom mobile keyboard, to 22. These new additions will allow millions of Indian users to type and search for emojis and GIFs in their native language.

CNN reports that according to a new study by Google and KPMG, the number of  Indian-language web users in India will exceed  536 million Indian-language  by 2021, almost three times the number of English-speaking users in the country. There are roughly 900 million Indians who are not yet online. When they do connect, 90% will be operating in a language that isn’t English, the study concludes.

Google India Logo

Googles’ other initiatives at increasing internet penetration in India, include free WiFi at 100 railway stations and a partnership with India’s Tata Trusts to teach women in rural areas to use smartphones.

 

May 10, 2017   No Comments

Software as a Service Booms in India

Forbes reports that according to a joint research report by Google and Accel Partners, by 2025, companies in India are likely to command   8% share of the global SaaS market which could be worth $10 billion annualy. Tracxn, a startup intelligence and market research platform, says that since 2010 India’s SaaS companies have witnessed more than $1.4 billion invested in the industry.

Computer Board

Indus Khaitan of Sirion Labs, (a SaaS company in India), says, “Gaining cost advantage by lowering the price is short lived. We don’t do that. But there’s an inherent advantage we have in terms of quality of entrepreneurs and people in this particular field. And all this is available at probably one third the price of that in the U.S.,” He also added that in order to be low cost, a company requires complete re-engineering of how to build a product.

 

January 24, 2017   No Comments

India’s Indus Creates a Localized Smartphone OS

Rakesh Deshmukh, Sudhir Bangarambandi and Akash Dongre, alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and co-founders of Mumbai-based Indus have customized Android to build a  regional mobile operating system called Indus OS for smartphones sold across the diverse landscape of India.

Indus OS
The operating system was built on the following facts, premises, and research results:
  • 90% of India’s population speaks Hindi and regional languages
  • In India, handsets accessible in a local language will be used more often
  • Over 79% of those surveyed were not satisfied with their smartphone experience and 52% used their smartphone for just basic applications like calls and messages
  • 72% preferred regional language content on their smartphones
  • 37.5% were using a smartphone without having an email address
Launched in May 2015, the  Indus Operating System:
  • Has a user base of over 6 million subscribers already
  • Is available in 12 Indian languages
  • Is preloaded in over 50 smartphone models

Additional Features:

  • Offers App Bazaar  which provides over 50,000 applications to users in English and 12 regional languages; and claims 15 million app downloads so far
  • Users can transliterate/translate from English to any regional language
  • OS integrated offline text-to-speech functionality in regional languages
  • A word database of over 300,000 in each of the 12 languages it supports

CEO Deshmukh told the Economic Times that Google and Android,  are spread across glboal geographies and it is less pragmatic for them to have a niche offering. “The diversity of India — with 22 official languages — calls for a focused and a localized operational strategy.”

January 9, 2017   No Comments

Google India Encourages Small Businesses to Go Online

A joint study by Google and KPMG titled Impact of internet and digitization on Small and Medium Businesses in India pointed out that 32% of digital businesses cater to customers outside their city, and employ five times as many people as do businesses that are offline; and profits of digitally engaged businesses grow twice as fast compared to offline small companies. The research also revealed that the rise of digital SMBs can help increase India’s GDP by 10 percentage points.

To address the offline 68% SMBs, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced the launch of Digital Unlocked, a training program for business owners in India that will empower them with essential digital skills to use the internet to grow their business. The program is offered as a combination of online, offline and mobile modes. The offline training will be conducted in partnership with industry body FICCI, and over the next three years 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities. This training course is certified by Google, the Indian School of Business and FICCI, reports Mint.

Google India Logo

Additionally, Google launched Primer, a free mobile app designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. Available for download through the Google Play and iOS app store, Primer can work offline too, and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.

 

January 7, 2017   No Comments

Google Delivers the Internet on Bicycles in India

Alphabet Inc unit Google has partnered with India’s Tata Trusts in launching  “Internet Saathi” (Internet partner)  to empower women and their communities in rural India by enabling them to use the Internet and benefit from it in their daily lives. The joint initiative is aimed at bridging the technology gender divide, explains Tata Trusts.

Launch of Internet Saathi

Launch of Internet Saathi

Equipped with bicycles with large boxes on the back containing internet-enabled devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system, the guides ride their bicycles from one village to another showing women how to search for information, using Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp messaging service, and even just using a smartphone to make a call, says the Wall Street Journal.

A year into the launch, the program’s 9,000 female tutors have imparted a better understanding to more than 1 million women of how being connected could improve their lives.

October 4, 2016   No Comments