GOOGLE & JIO become partners to provide access to smartphone, internet connectivity in India

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd.

SUNDAR Pichai led GOOGLE has signed an agreement to invest  INR 33,737 crore in Jio Platforms Ltd, taking a 7.73 percent stake in the company, pending regulatory review in India. This is the first investment by the giant multinational company for Google For India Digitization Fund announced earlier this week to accelerate India’s digital economy over the next five to seven years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. Google and Jio Platforms have entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry-level affordable smartphone with optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store. Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones. This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy, said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Confirming the agreement Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday, July 15 that the Reliance will work with other Indian companies, including start-ups, to vigorously promote “Made-in-India”, “Made-for-India” and “Made-for-the-World” products.” The company will spin off its oil-to-chemical business into a separate subsidiary by early 2021 after regulatory approvals, and detailed plans of also moving into green energy space. “Due to unforeseen circumstances in the energy market and the Covid-19 situation, the Saudi Aramco deal has not progressed as per the original timeline. Our equity requirements have already been met. Nevertheless, we at Reliance value our over two-decade-long relationship with Saudi Aramco and are committed to a long-term partnership,” he said while addressing Virtual U. Earlier, Sundar Pichai committed to investing Rs 75,000 crore in India over the next 5-7 years through ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’.  Pichai and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had an association dating back to about five years. Pichai had welcomed Modi to Silicon Valley in September 2015. PM and Pichai virtually interacted on Monday, July 13 on economic opportunities during the pandemic. The focus of the interaction was especially on attracting FDI into India and the role of technology giants in turning around the economy. Pichai made the announcement while participating on ‘Google for INDIA 2020’ later the same day. PM Modi had in a recent global conference invited global business leaders to invest in India saying the country is a much better foreign investment destination than many others. He had also clarified that the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme was about self-reliance, but not about shutting out foreign investors. startups. Addressing Google for India event, Pichai asserted that the latest move is a reflection of the company’s confidence in the future of India and its digital economy. “Today, I am excited to announce Google for India digitisation fund. Through this effort, we will invest Rs 75,000 crore or USD 10 billion in India for the next 5-7 years”. Investments will focus on four key areas of India’s digitisation, he said. This includes enabling affordable access and information to every Indian in their own language, building new products and services relevant to India’s unique needs, empowering businesses as they continue to embark in digital transformation, and leveraging technology and Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like healthcare, education and agriculture, he added.

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