After it launched the India Digitization Fund, Google has revealed its first step into establishing a stronger presence in India. On 15 July 2020, Google signed an agreement to invest 4.5 billion dollars in one of India’s leading Internet providers, Jio Platforms. This would give Google a 7.73% stake in the company. This partnership comes at an especially opportune time, while India is in its developing stages for digitization.
As per Google:
“This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications, and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy.”
Google had recently announced the launch of its India Digitization Fund, which Google has built up to invest $10 billion in the Indian tech market over the next few years. Currently, Jio has roughly 388 million clients, which makes it a valuable player in the Indian tech market.
This is part of Google’s initiative to further develop the Indian market and tap into its potential. Facebook had also purchased a 9.99% stake in Jio last April for $5.7 billion. Both Google and Facebook have been looking for ways to penetrate deeper into the Indian tech market but were met with resistance from the Indian government.
However, Google has been taking steps to show that they are trustworthy. It launched Google Station in India, which had provided free Wi-Fi in over 400 railway stations across India. Through this investment in Jio, Google hopes to significantly grow within the region.
Google is looking to capitalize on Android’s dominance as an operating system. Even though India is still developing in the realm of tech, it’s already number two on the list of the world’s largest smartphone markets. The number of Internet users in India is expected to hit 850 million within the next two years. Google hopes to help this prediction by providing tools and Internet connection to various parts of the nation that don’t already have Internet access.
This is what Google had to say:
“Our mission with Android has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone, and we’ve been humbled by the way Indians have embraced Android over recent years. We think the time is right to increase our commitment to India significantly, in collaboration with local companies, and partnership with Jio is the first step. We want to work with Jio and other leaders in the local ecosystem to ensure that smartphones—together with the apps and services in the Play Store—are within reach for many more Indians across the country. And we believe the pace of Indian innovation means that the experiences we create for India can ultimately be expanded to the rest of the world.”
Google is hoping to penetrate the Indian market the way it has other countries that are more advanced in tech. While the Indian tech market still has a ways to go, Google is determined to push it towards being fully developed.
Implications for Marketers:
Tapping into the Indian market will present new opportunities in marketing and eCommerce. Marketers will be given new demographics that they can use to better sharpen and develop their marketing strategies. India’s increased use of the Internet would also eventually lead to new market players which would make for a more dynamic and competitive market.