Google’s Sundar Pichai has been in India this week to host the “Google for India” press event. The tech giant has just announced that it will be starting up a number of new initiatives in the country, including public WiFi initiatives, country specific service optimizations and additional development taking place in the country itself.
To start with, Google announced new plans to increase its engineering presence in India with a major expansion at its Hyderabad campus. The company says that the expansion will be working to bring all Indians online. Google is also launching a program to train two million new Android developers over the next three years and will be working closely with 30 Universities across the country to offer courses.
As part of its efforts to tailor services specifically to Indian consumers, Google is also planning to further improve support for 2G connections. Google already introduced its “lighter” search results for mobile this year and the Android Chome browser was also recently updated with an improved Data Saver mode. Google Maps and Youtube also now have offline modes, which is certainly useful in patchy or slow network areas.
Also, Google’s big announcement was that the Mumbai Central will be the first station to come online as part of its program with Indian Railways and Railtel to offer free WiFi inside railway stations. The plan is to have 100 additional stations up and running by the end of 2016, which should better connect the 10 million commuters who pass through these stations every day. Google is also planning to expand its rural internet bike initiative with Tata Trusts, with hopes to reach 300,000 villages nationwide within three years.
India has been a key market for Google in the past and is becoming increasingly important as more and more consumers jump online. Google seems to be making every effort to foster a positive early relationship with India’s ever growing online audience.