India is fast becoming Google’s delight. Google India has already become the second-largest operation for Google worldwide in terms of employee numbers. The Google operations in Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad put together, make for the highest number of Googlers outside the United States. India has also emerged as the highest growth market for Google in terms of advertising revenues.
Given the burgeoning size of the mobile users in India, Google is investing huge resources into the next leg of its research and development, focused at the Indian market. The emphasis is clearly on delivering services, especially pushing information, through mobile devices to the rapidly proliferating mobile population in the country.
“India is a very important part of our operations, globally. We have had a large engineering and operations presence through the R&D centre and global sales & support centres in India. But, the focus in the recent times has been to ramp up the market-facing capabilities for servicing the Indian market. This part is expected to clock the highest growth for Google India in the coming quarters,” said Google India Managing Director Shailesh Rao.
“A huge chunk of the Indian population is using mobile devices for data services – be it for short messaging or WAP application. The focus of our product development is to offer products and services for this set of users,” he added.
The Google team in India is also concentrating on developing non-Hindi and non-English capabilities for mobile device users. “We are looking at ways to provide information to users who are usually challenged with respect to access by providing transliteration capabilities while they are on the move, just as we have done for our online products.”
The idea is to make social networking and search friendly for the disparate Indian user profile by providing more Indic content.
Last year, dovetailing its development effort with the Indian requirements, Google extended the reach of its products to non-Hindi and non-English speakers by offering transliteration capability on blogger, search and also on Orkut.
“The strategic importance that Google attaches to its India operations is fairly obvious given that there are few countries that have the growth profile and the scale or the structural opportunity as is presented by this one country. It is the largest democracy where sharing of information is centre-stage. With the youth demographics of this country, everything is centered around knowledge and sharing of information. That is precisely the need that we are here to satiate,” said Rao.