Info-tech

Google’s investment plan ‘shows lot of play still in IT/telecom’

S. Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

Concerns, too, raised over data security issues

From the Prime Minister and the Information Technology Minister to the Education Minister, all were praise for Google, as the tech giant on Monday committed investments of ₹75,000 crore over five-seven years on projects in education, healthcare, start-ups and many more.

Several industry veterans said this shows that there is a lot of play in the Indian market and an opportunity to create many new platforms out of India for the world.

“The $10-billion (₹75,000 crore) investment announcement by Google reiterates the potential of Digital India and the power to digitally interconnect 1.3 billion people. Using a part of this investment for start-ups will also boost opportunities for new enterprises to build for India,” said Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer, Nasscom.

 

She said the Indian IT industry welcomes the confidence that Google has shown for digital adoption by, and innovation capabilities of, India.

According to Mahesh Uppal, Director of Communications at ComFirst, a consulting organisation that specialises in communications regulation, policy and development, the proposed investment is substantial and shows that there is a lot of play in India’s IT/telecom space. “Google clearly sees an opportunity to deliver value to users and returns to its shareholders,” he said. But some sceptics raised concern over what they called lack of proper laws governing Internet data, especially since Google has been in the middle of several anti-trust law suits.

Inadequate data protection

“FDI is good but it’s a case of placing the horse before the cart. We still do not have adequate data-protection and privacy laws. How do we ensure that user data stand protected,” asked BK Syngal, former Chairman, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

Bhavin Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Flock, Radix and Co-founder and CEO of Zeta, tweeted: “Google raised $25.1 million before its IPO. Even at a 5 per cent success rate, $10 billion ought to be able to create 20 Googles. Excess capital breeds inefficiencies. Constraints breed creativity.”

Another industry analyst said: “Google owns a search engine, a leading web browser (Chrome), the world’s largest mobile operating system in Android, YouTube and Google Maps, all of which have significant user base in India. More investments could mean more influence over user data. The Vocal for Local campaign needs to translate into having big Indian companies which can do what Google wants to do.”

(With inputs from Mumbai Bureau)

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Published on July 13, 2020
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