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Google to set up its global fintech in Gujarat: Sundar Pichai

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WASHINGTON, June 24 (PTI): Internet giant Google will set up its global fintech operation centre at GIFT City in Gujarat, its CEO Sundar Pichai said on Friday after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi here.

Pichai also said that his company continues to invest in India through its USD 10 billion India Digitisation Fund.

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Modi is visiting the US from June 21 to June 24 at the invitation of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. Besides Pichai, the prime minister at an interaction with top CEOs also met Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and AMD CEO Lisa Su, among others

“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,” Pichai said.

The Indian-origin CEO said it is exciting to see the progress that the country has made, particularly around the vision of Digital India and the economic opportunity.

“I met the prime minister in December, and we continued our conversation. We shared that Google is investing USD 10 billion 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.

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He said that the prime minister’s vision for Digital India was ahead of its time. “I now see it as a blueprint that other countries are looking to do so,” Pichai said.

The ministry of external affairs in a tweet said Prime Minister Modi invited Pichai to explore further avenues of collaboration in the domains of artificial intelligence, fintech, and cybersecurity products and services, as well as mobile device manufacturing in India.

They also discussed collaboration between Google and academic institutions in India to promote research and development, and skill development, the ministry added.

In July 2020, Google had announced plans to invest USD 10 billion in India over next five to seven years as the search giant looks to help accelerate adoption of digital services in the key overseas market.

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During his visit to India in December last year, Pichai had announced that a part of the India Digitisation Fund (IDF) is increasingly focusing on startups from India and one-fourth amount of USD 300 million from the fund will be invested in entities that are led by women.

Google had announced a collaboration with Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science to collect speech data from 773 districts across India to fine-tune its language translation and search technology.

The internet major has announced a grant of USD 1 million to set up India’s first responsible artificial intelligence centre at IIT Madras and USD 1 million grant via Google.Org to Wadhwani AI towards using advanced technology for better agricultural outcomes.

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