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Google Banks Big On India’s Product Market

By virtue of having Silicon Valley, the beating heart of tech innovation in the world, the U.S. usually gets first crack at the newest technologies that will change the world. However, Google’s new CEO has a more inclusive worldview of how the company should test its products.

Reuters reported that during a new event in New Delhi on Wednesday (Dec. 16), Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he plans on focusing on the world’s most populous democracy in the future, especially as Google looks to test its new projects before wider releases.

“We think that what we build in India will apply to many global places,” Pichai told reporters at the event.

The renewed emphasis on the emerging Indian market is a timely one, as Pichai explained that more than 500 million Indians will have reliable high-speed Internet access by 2018. However, unlike the progression of the U.S., which started with desktop computers before finding a taste for mobile, most of India’s new Internet users have skipped the first stages to go straight to mobile. In a bit of tech development clairvoyance, Google’s decision to test its newest projects in a mobile-dominant India could have benefits for the Western world as mobile traffic continues its upward surge.

Aside from simply releasing betas to Indian consumers, Pichai also outlined plans to beef up Google’s business presence on the subcontinent. By 2019, Pichai said that in addition to expanding its corporate campus in Hyderabad, the company will have trained 2 million Indian developers to work on its Android operating system — another indication that India’s and Google’s fates are tied to mobile development.

“It’s about making sure that as the next 1 billion come online, they have access,” Pichai said, as quoted by Reuters.

What Pichai didn’t say was that if Google can’t ensure access for developing countries like India, hundreds of millions of people could start looking somewhere else.

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