Innovating for India

As the number of Internet users in India continues to grow, we’re adapting existing Google products and developing new ones that cater to the nation’s unique digital needs. Whether it’s supporting the fast-growing segment of users who prefer to access the Internet in Indian languages, making payments easier, or creating products to optimize data usage for low-speed connections, we’re working to help Indians do even more online.

An explosion of growth in the Indian-language Internet

Expected Indian-language Internet user base by 2021, across content types (Source: KPMG Google research)

280 million

Online news

175 million

Government services

175 million

E-tailing services

175 million

Digital payments

100 million

Digital classifieds

 

 

Adapting global products for local needs

In India, smartphones are bringing more people online for the first time, so there’s an increasing need to make digital products relevant to this rapidly growing group. More native languages, a faster, smoother Internet connection, and apps dedicated to saving data are just some of the ways we’ve enhanced our most popular Google products to fit mobile users’ unique needs.

Optimizing data usage and improving connectivity

While higher speed Internet networks are available in India, a huge majority of the population only has access to 2G services, which are neither fast nor data-friendly. To give smartphone users a faster, richer online experience, we’ve developed a range of apps and services that improve mobile performance while reducing data consumption.

Overcoming language barriers with Google products

Today, 57 percent of India's 410 million Internet users – 234 million Indians – prefer to access the Internet in Indian languages. The number of Indian-language Internet users is expected to expand to 536 million by 2021, growing six times faster than English-language Internet users in India (Source: KPMG-Google research).

To support this fast-growing group, we’ve been expanding local language capabilities for up to 27 different Indian languages across our products and experiences, including search, voice navigation, voice input and translation.

Learn more about these products and experiences

Creating safer roads in India

India is home to the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles. We created Maps for Two Wheelers as an India-first Google feature to aid motorists nationwide. It provides customized traffic estimations and “shortcuts” that are available only to riders. And by introducing landmarks for navigation, we help riders focus on the road, reducing their need to check their phones while riding.

Learn more about these products and experiences

Empowering startup success by bringing the best of Google to them

Google’s Launchpad is a global program to empower innovative startups that are focused on building solutions for the unique needs of emerging ecosystems like India. From short format startup mentorship activities spanning a few days to the 6-month global Launchpad Accelerator, since 2015, Indian startups have experienced the best of our mentor network, resources, methodologies and technology.

Through dedicated, one-on-one support from Google and industry experts in areas such as product strategy, UX/UI, marketing, and technology, hundreds of startups have been empowered via our short format activities . 30 Indian startups have benefitted from our 3 year old global Launchpad Accelerator program, helping them collectively raise over $70M in funding and drive revenue increases of almost 500%.

Based on the growing maturity of the startup ecosystem in India, in 2017, we launched an India-only pilot activity - “Solve for India”- to inspire developers and identify startups that were focused on building solutions that serve India’s needs using latest technologies. We went to 15 cities, mentored hundreds of founders and identified some of the best startups - whom we invited to a “Solve for India” Launchpad bootcamp. Here, startups spent a week in one-on-one consults with experts from Google and mentors from the industry to solve critical product and growth challenges.

Building on the efforts and learnings of this pilot and the Launchpad journey till date, we now have Google’s Launchpad Accelerator India, a three-month mentorship program tailored exclusively for startups that are deploying Machine Learning/AI to build solutions that solve for India’s needs, giving them access to the best of Google - its people, network and technologies.

Serving local needs with India-first products

The Internet in India is witnessing an incredible transformation. This year, India crossed the 400 million Internet user mark. And Indians are using more data than ever before – 4GB on average every month, projected to grow to 11GB per month in the next four years. Cheaper data through carrier innovation and greater access to public WiFi such as Google Station makes the richness of the Internet more accessible to Indians. Now, they are spending more time watching their favorite videos and less time worrying about the cost of data. With so many Internet users hungry to do even more online, we’ve been working to build new products and features specifically for India.

Learn more about some of our India-first products:

YouTube Go

YouTube Go

YouTube Go helps Indians enjoy their favorite videos without burning up their mobile data. Built for the next generation of viewers, the app allows users to save videos for offline viewing, removing the need for buffering. Users can also share videos with their friends without data, and discover trending videos near them through optimized home screen highlights.

Datally

Datally

We created Datally to make it easier for Indians to optimize their overall data usage. The app tracks data consumption habits, provides personalized recommendations to save data, and lets users track and block apps with heavy background data usage. Datally also links smartphones with available public Wi-Fi networks, giving users another way to reduce data usage. With these features, our app has helped users to save up to 30 percent of their data.

Tez

Tez

In 2017, we launched Tez, a new digital payment app built for India. It works with all major banks and the vast majority of smartphones, letting users make safe, instant payments anywhere, directly from their accounts.

Filesgo

Filesgo

Filesgo helps Indians organize their mobile storage space. Our app gives personalized suggestions to delete files based on frequency of use, size, duplicated files or low-resolution content. It also automatically organises contents through smart filters, backs up files to cloud storage platforms, and allows high-speed encrypted file transfers to nearby phones without any data usage.

Baldip Singh, Real Estate Agent

“While I am fluent in speaking Punjabi, writing Punjabi was close to impossible for me. The lack of phonetic keyboards meant I was not able to reply to my family and friends in Punjabi. Google Indic Keyboard made my life easier, as now I can write in Punjabish (Punjabi in English) and chat with my family in Punjabi.”

Baldip Singh, Real Estate Agent

More Google Initiatives