Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday expressed confidence that big global software companies will start emerging from India in the next five to 10 years.
“In five- to 10-year time frame, we will see big global software companies coming out of India and we will be used to it,” Pichai said interacting with students at his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur.
Pichai earned his degree in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT-Kharagpur.
Asked on India catching up with China on the digital front, Pichai stressed the goal should be a little different.
“India will be a global player in digital economy and it will be competitive with any country in the world. There is a timing issue. We are doing well as a country. We need to stay at it. We need a few more years and we will get to it. I am absolutely confident,” he said.
Talking about Google’s support to Digital India, Pichai hoped for cheaper smartphones.
“In five- to 10-year time frame, we will see big global software companies coming out of India and we will be used to it.”
“We are focused on getting Google in as many languages as possible to ensure access to people. I would love to see cheaper smartphones, entry-level smartphones. We need to further bring prices down. Connectivity is extremely important,” he said.
Referring to the start-up scenario, the Google CEO said Indian companies should aim higher and compete with MNCs, as the Indian market is not large enough to invest in technology.
“Part of the problem is that in India, the potential is there and market is developing. It will take a few more years for it to realise it’s potential. Digital market is still developing. It’s a problem we run into. It’s just a moment in time,” he said.
“Hopefully, Indian companies are also more thoughtful so that when they produce something, they ensure that their target is areas such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. Those markets are developed. They need to set their sights a bit bigger. The trend lines are strongly in favour,” he added.
On the next big thing at Google, Pichai said his organisation is “betting big” on advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the coming years.
“I can’t quite tell exactly what, but we are betting big on advances in AI and machine learning. Advances in machine learning will bring a difference in many fields.”