Enabling regional languages will boost India’s digital economy: Google
New Delhi: Building more digital content in regional languages will give a major boost to India’s bid to become a $1 trillion digital economy, Google India said here on Wednesday.
“If we do not allow Internet to build local language elements, I think the story could go completely haywire. There are 400 million Internet users in India and out of those, 234 million are local language users. The number is expected to go to 536 million by 2021,” Chetan Krishnaswamy, Country Head, Public Policy, Google, told reporters on the sidelines of the ‘Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2017’ here.
“The industry needs to focus on this aspect and ensure that content in local languages becomes a reality, and the technology and products are optimised to ensure that Internet becomes inclusive. The idea is that it doesn’t only remain for the English-speaking elite,” Krishnaswamy added.
Google has been upbeat about India’s digital economy.
Earlier this month, the company launched “Tez” — its standalone digital payments app that can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices.
The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and is available in English and seven Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu).
“Our belief is that by 2025, the digital economy would be able to hit $750 billion-1 trillion mark. It is not unattainable. Currently, the digital economy contributes to seven per cent of the GDP and by 2025, it should be around 17 per cent of the GDP,” Krishnaswamy said.
According to a recent report from Google and KPMG India, Indian language users have overtaken English language on the Internet in the country.
Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi speaking users have the highest adoption online services, followed by Telugu, Gujarati and Malayalam.