Google is the synonym for the search business. Last week company unveiled several products and initiatives in India to make the internet more accessible even in the remote areas.
The motto behind the initiatives was an emphasis on connectivity, John Giannandrea, senior vice president of search at Google, explained. Google’s new mobile app, YouTube Go, was designed to play videos smoothly in low connectivity environments and allow users better control over their data consumption.
Google also launched free Wi-Fi services in more than 50 train stations, and later this year, users will be able to communicate with Google’s artificial intelligence service, Assistant, in Hindi.
The country’s notable lag on other emerging markets, when it comes to internet access, has made it an attractive destination for technology companies that hope to bring more Indians online, and win customers in the process.
Earlier this year, Facebook attempted to implement a “Free basics” internet program, which was rejected by Indian regulators amid criticisms from net-neutrality advocates.
Giannandrea said that succeeding in a market as diverse as India also meant paying close attention to what Indians cared about and providing them adequate information on them: Cricket, Bollywood and the news, often consumed a local language, were some of the key drivers of Indian engagement online, he said.
India has 22 major languages and more than 700 dialects.