In stark contrast to what we see here in North America, what with the seemingly oversaturated nature of the technology industries here, there are large swaths of the world just teeming with untapped potential in terms of profits for tech industry giants. Based on what we have seen in the news lately, it is apparent that the power players of the technology world are waking up to this idea of exploring new frontiers and it seems that their sights are set firmly on India. Just this past week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook and, based on some of the announcements that followed, these meetings must have proved very fruitful indeed.
Prime Minister Modi clearly demonstrated his commitment to bringing all of India’s 1.25 billion citizens into the modern age when, as reported by news agency Reuters, he said, “India has moved on from scripture to satellites.” This idea was indeed confirmed even further when Google announced that they plan to install free wireless internet in 400 train stations across India, and Microsoft announced plans to bring affordable broadband internet to 500,00 Indian villages. Of course, Microsoft and Google aren’t exactly pioneers in terms of bringing high-tech to India as the Facebook-lead Internet.org has been working on bringing affordable internet to India for several years. But, what this latest interest from companies like Google and Microsoft show is a firm recognition of India as an important marketplace which would mean India could become a critical battleground amongst these various companies who are all vying for global technology dominance.
It would seem like this sudden focus on the people of India coming from these industry leaders is a win-win for all involved. Of course, the likes of Facebook and Google and Microsoft will reap the benefits in terms of profits and gaining new customers who will make use of their products and services, but the Indian people will also benefit as those who previously had no internet access could join the 21st century and be a part of the great equalizer that is the internet.