On the other hand, the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the U.S. failed to attract fresh investment from Silicon Valley’s tech giants.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said India is the fastest growing start-up hub in the world. It seems Google does not have any major investment plans for India.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the software major will have data centers in the U.S. The Indian born CEO made the same announcement in several occasions earlier.
Nadella said Microsoft’s plan is to partner with the Indian Government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India.
“We believe that lost-cost broadband connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all sizes,” the first Indian-American Microsoft CEO said.
Nadella said: “Now it is time for us to collectively empower people from all over the world. Micosoft will partner individual states, and tech companies in this regard. He said in Surat, the company was working with municipalities on data analytic systems.”
Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs said $150 million in Indian tech start-ups. The chip major is also investing the same amount in China.
“India under the prime minister’s leadership is moving in the right direction with Digital India,” Qualcomm’s Jacobs said, announcing a further investment of $150 million to fund Indian start-ups in areas from mobile to internet. The chip-maker already has invested in some dozen Indian firms.
Earlier, PM Narendra Modi faced criticism for not generating significant opportunities for employment and investment after his foreign visits.
Media reports say technology firms Apple, Qualcomm, Google and Microsoft are endorsing India’s Digital India project. Interestingly, PM Modi could not hard sell Make in India this time. It seems that he stopped selling Make in India project to US technology giants.
During the Digital India speech of Modi, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, Cisco chairman John Chambers, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen were present.
PM Modi requested Apple to set up its manufacturing facility in India.
Google’s Sundar Pichai had a take on another of Modi’s initiatives Startup India that intends to foster, nurse and promote entrepreneurship. “India is the fastest growing start-up nation in the world,” Google CEO said.
Modi spoke about National Optical Fibre Network to take currently less penetrated broadband to each of India’s 600,000-odd villages, connectivity for every school and college, and expansion of public Wi-Fi hotspots at airports and railway stations.
India wants PM Modi to encourage IT companies to make more investment in India and create more jobs for Indians. Will Modi deliver more during the next trip?
Modi’s visit to foreign companies and foreign countries should not become a marketing tool for social media giants like Facebook and others.