Google woos India consumers with a slew of new products

Google has made a strong push into India, with a slew of products and features targeted at the mass market.
In a bid to woo the first time Internet users in India and those using the low-end smartphones, the Internet giant announced the availability of Android Oreo Go edition to developers, hardware partners, and telecom operators.
It also unveiled a new variant of its voice-based Google Assistant for JioPhone in Hindi and English and new apps such as Google Go for a lighter and faster search and Files Go for optimizing data storage.
The San Francisco headquartered company also unveiled a “Two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps which will show trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars and trucks.
Given a vast majority of the Indian population uses bikes or scooters to commute in India, the new feature will provide customized traffic and arrival time estimations. The feature is available in India starting today and will be expanded to more countries in the coming months.
Most of these products are designed especially for the Indian market and have been rolled out globally. Caesar Sengupta, vice president, Next Billion Users, Google, told ET these launches prove Google’s belief that building for India first can lead to creating better products for the world.
“We realize that most of our users are mobile-first or mobile-only. They are usually very young and they are in countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria…" Within that, India is larger than the rest put together. “We have realized that once you build something well for India, it will work everywhere,” Sengupta added.
Talking about another India first product - Tez - Google’s UPI (Unified Payment Interface) based payment app which was launched in September this year, the company said the app is set to touch 12 million users in India and has processed 140 million transactions so far, accounting for over 70% of all BHIM UPI transactions in the country.
On Tuesday, Google has also announced the addition of bill payments to Tez with support for over 70 utility billers such as BSES, ACT Fibernet, and Dish TV among others.
“You have to find solutions for India, all the challenges are here,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog adding that India offers a unique ecosystem for the process of social transformation.