“A testament to India’s growing prominence in the fintech landscape.”
Tapan Ray, GIFT City, Managing Director and Group CEO, couldn’t have put it better when Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the setting up of a global fintech operation centre in the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City. Ray said the move would go a long way in realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making GIFT City a truly global fintech hub.
Undeniably, Gujarat is leading a brand of digital revolution. Through Gujarat’s IT penetration and Digital Gujarat programmes, the state has ushered in a new age of communications and technology.
According to Forbes, the operations centre will have employees supporting Google Pay, which comprises nearly 35% of the total Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions by volume and 34% by value in May 2023. GPay is just behind PhonePe, which accounts for 47% of total UPI transactions by volume and 50% by value.
It’s obvious Google believes in India’s market potential owing to the country’s strong engineering talent, ever-growing digital infrastructure and the government’s API vision. And as the American business journal has highlighted, Google is setting sights in building software with access to government IDs (Aadhaar), and payment networks (UPI).
Google had long penetrated India’s consciousness through affordable devices and the understanding of Indian languages. And as Forbes highlighted, its AI tools and ML for developing solutions in skill development, healthcare and agriculture have made it a household name.
That Google believes in India’s growth story was evident during his visit to India in December last year. Pichai said Google would invest $10 billion in the country over the next five to seven years. Now, with Gujarat assuming the mantle of Fintech leadership, India should be an even greater force to reckon with the United Payments Interface (UPI) and Aadhar ID systems.
Since Fintech is expected to support small and big businesses in India, the US and even around the world, it should create a sizeable number of job opportunities, though Google hasn’t quite specified how much employment it would generate.
Meanwhile, GIFT City is rapidly growing in stature. It is home to 23 multi-national banks, two international stock exchanges with average daily trading volumes of $30.6 billion, 35 fintech entities, and is India’s first bullion exchange with 75 onboarded jewellers.