The fintech operation centre will cement India's fintech leadership, thanks to UPI, and Aadhaar said Google CEO, Sundar Pichai
The investment comes from the $10 Bn India Digitisation Fund, which has been deployed to invest in tech, telecom and startups in India
PM Modi has invited Pichai to explore further collaboration in AI, fintech, cybersecurity and mobile device manufacturing in India
Tech giant Google will set up its global fintech operation centre at the GIFT City in Gujarat, CEO Sundar Pichai said on Friday (June 23) following his meeting with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington DC.
“Today we are announcing the opening of our global fintech operations centre in GIFT City, Gujarat. It will cement India’s fintech leadership, thanks to UPI, and Aadhaar. We are going to build on that foundation and take it globally,” said Pichai.
The Indian-origin CEO said it was exciting to see the progress India has made, particularly around the vision of Digital India. Pichai added that Google continues to invest in India through the $10 Bn India Digitisation Fund launched in 2020.
“I met the prime minister in December, and we continued our conversation. We shared that Google is investing $10 Bn in the India digitisation fund and we are continuing to invest through that, including in companies working on artificial intelligence. As part of that, we have a 100-language initiative. We are bringing bot to more Indian languages very soon,” Pichai said.
Post the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted that PM Modi has invited Pichai to explore further collaboration in artificial intelligence, fintech, cybersecurity and mobile device manufacturing in India. The duo also discussed collaboration between Google and academic institutions in India to promote research and development and skill development, the ministry added.
Speaking on the development, Tapan Ray, MD and group CEO of GIFT City, told Inc42, “Google’s decision to establish its global fintech operations centre in GIFT City is a testament to India’s growing prominence in the fintech landscape. The strategic announcement made during PM Modi’s US visit by Google CEO Sundar Pichai is a win-win proposition. It will go a long way in realizing our Hon’ble PM’s vision of making GIFT City a truly global fintech hub. We look forward to hosting Google at GIFT City.”
Last December, at the Google for India 2022 event, the Google CEO announced that $300 Mn from the India Digitisation Fund will be set aside to invest in Indian startups and earmarked $75 Mn to invest in women-led startups in India.
Google is also collaborating with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to collect speech data from 773 districts across India to fine-tune its language translation and search technology. The partnership also comes as nearly a third of search queries from India are spoken, per a top Google executive.
PM Modi is on a state visit to the US from June 21 to June 24. Besides Pichai, the PM has also met the likes of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, AMD CEO Lisa Su and Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, among others.
Earlier this week, India and the US announced a strategic partnership on semiconductor design and manufacturing. To that extent, chipmaker Micron Technology will be setting up a DRAM and NAND ATMP facility in India, investing $2.75 Bn in the process.
Lam Research and Applied Materials will also be making significant investments to train engineers in India, home to a fifth of all semiconductor engineering talent in the world.