India’s entrepreneurial innovators have the potential to build the ‘next Google’ if the country ‘plays its cards right’, and ensures Internet access for millions of its citizens, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said.
In an essay written for the book ‘Reimagining India: unlocking the potential of Asia’s next superpower’, edited by global consulting firm McKinsey, Mr. Schmidt dubbed India ‘an Internet laggard’, saying he feels Internet in the country today is like where it was in America in about 1994 — four years before Google was even born. He said India must increase its Internet penetration across towns and cities, a move that would have a positive impact on its economy and society.
The former Google CEO said he witnessed the creative potential of India’s people all around him in Silicon Valley where India-born entrepreneurs account for 40 per cent of start-ups.
“Just think what will happen when India’s entrepreneurial innovators are able to create great global companies without leaving their country. They will change the world. Hundreds of large firms focused on the Internet will be founded and will succeed by focusing purely on Indian consumers, Indian taste, Indian style, Indian sports. “Can anyone of those companies ultimately become the next Google? Of course, that may not happen for quite a few years. But if India plays its cards right, we will soon see Indian engineers and small businesses tackling Indian problems first, then exporting the solutions that work best,” Mr. Schmidt said.