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India is an incredible hub for AI innovation

India is a hotbed for global startups and a key market where Google Cloud is doubling down on its investment efforts, said Matt Renner, President and Global Sales Leader, Google Cloud, who is on an India visit.

The country is one of the few markets worldwide selected for startup investment this fiscal due to its incredible upside and potential, he noted. “India was identified at the top of the list due to the sheer volume and amount of innovation occurring across the country in several different hubs,” he added.

Amid the growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) worldwide, Renner sees India as an incredible hub for AI innovation.

“We are seeing a nice increase in AI startups for healthcare, for financial services, and a healthy number of retail startups that are also focusing on AI,” he remarked.

In India, Google Cloud is witnessing a shift towards mature solutions adopted by mature customers focused on driving tangible business value rather than mere proof of concepts, he said, adding that there’s a trend towards rigorous evaluation aimed at identifying impactful AI solutions that align with specific business needs and objectives.

“India is maturing at a very quick pace, I would put it on par or above most other regions globally because they understand technology, they understand AI. And they are understanding where AI can be used to drive business value, Renner noted.

“We believe that AI for most companies is a marathon and not a sprint,” he added.

Bikram Singh Bedi, Vice President and Country MD, Google Cloud India, highlighted that the country is not only a consumer economy for GenAI but is also evolving into a creator economy for GenAI.

Apart from GenAI, security is one area where the company is experiencing traction.

“As the digital footprints are increasing, as more and more assets are coming into the digital space, we are seeing more and more security incidents starting to happen. Hence consumers are very keen to have conversations with Google Cloud, to see ‘how can you help us secure our infrastructure,’” Bedi explained.

Google stands as one of the top contenders in the cloudmarket, trailing behind Amazon and Microsoft. However, the company’s cloud division has shown consistent growth in both revenue and profit in recent years. Google Cloud turned profitable in the initial quarter of 2023, and within a year, in the first quarter of 2024, its operating income skyrocketed to $900 million, marking a more than fourfold increase from the previous year.

When asked about India’s contribution to the global business, Singh said India is a very important market, for both Google and Google Cloud.

“We are seeing significant strong growth in the India business over the last few years. And of course, the last few quarters aren’t any different,” he added.

When collaborating with Indian customers like HDFC Bank, Jio, and Adani, among others, a key aspect of its partnership is integrating both products and engineering areas. This approach has significantly contributed to business growth as customers appreciate the innovation and transformation it’s brought to their operations.

“The scale at which businesses operate in India is perhaps very different from most other markets in the world. And hence, as far as Google Cloud is concerned, when we are building solutions for the market, it is about scale, security, stability and innovation of the platform,” Bedi noted. Your Story

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