Facebook held its first Fuel For India virtual event today, where the company discusses digitalization in India going forward, key focus areas, and more.
At Fuel For India 2020, Facebook underscored the importance of the Indian market and its plans to partner with India as it continues to go through digital transformation.
India has been rapidly adopting digital technologies, nearly 700 million people in India have access to the internet — fueling the creation of new enterprises in everything from entertainment to healthcare and education.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Facebook said, “What happens in India is important for the whole world. India’s building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion. So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people.”
The largest communities for Facebook and WhatsApp are in India and Instagram is getting there. This makes India a key market to test and roll our new features from here.
From the launch of Reels on Instagram, to Watch on Facebook and Payments on WhatsApp, India is playing a crucial role in the way products are being designed for the future. Facebook launched the Blood Donation tool in India, a first in 2017 to address the shortage of blood in the country.
Key Focus Areas
- Helping small businesses get online: The pandemic has fueled digital acceleration; The Facebook-Boston Consulting Group ‘Turn The Tide’ study found that digitally influenced purchases for key categories such as consumer packaged goods, mobile phones, and apparel had increased by 15%-20% for urban consumers in just three months after the pandemic. This has led many businesses, particularly small businesses, to move online. In order to support small businesses move online seamlessly, Facebook recently reached out to 9 million small businesses across India with a local SMB Guide available in both Hindi and English.
- Investment in India’s digital ecosystem: Facebook is partnering and investing in India’s digital ecosystem. These include equity investments in Meesho – focused on social commerce & women entrepreneurship and Unacademy – focused on education.
- Investment in Jio Platforms: In collaboration with Jio Platforms, the company wants to further accelerate India’s digital transformation and work to open up new opportunities for people and businesses around the country. Focused on providing digital tools to small businesses.
- Small Business Growth: The Nayi Shuruaat campaign launched during the Facebook Fuel for India captures real stories of how small businesses have moved online during the pandemic to recover, make a new start, and grow using their Facebook communities. Facebook will continue to work with key partners to boost small business growth in the country by investing in skilling programs such as Boost with Facebook, entering in key partnerships such as with venture capital funds for the VC Brand Incubator program, and by giving people new ways to support small businesses such as the Instagram Food Stickers.
- Unlocking newer social video experiences: Moving forward, Facebook expects India’s appetite for video to increase with 5G adding a new dimension to the video viewing experience. Facebook will continue to invest in Movies, Music, and Cricket to drive engagement and give our community what they want.
- Partner India’s agenda of driving digital and financial inclusion: Facebook is supporting the government’s efforts to drive economic growth through financial inclusion under the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). WhatsApp, through its partnerships with various financial institutions also enables a broad suite of fintech solutions like Micro-pensions, digital insurance products, and others.
Facebook Fuel For India also hosted a conversation between Mark Zuckerberg and Mukesh Ambani, who discuss the partnership between Facebook and Jio platforms.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Facebook
Facebook’s Commitment to India
“At Facebook, we are in the business of serving small businesses. And nowhere is this more true than in India. With more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people around the country relying on them for jobs – these small businesses form a big part of what our partnership with Jio can serve here. This is especially important because small businesses in India will be a key part of the global economic recovery going forward. And we’re focused on making sure we build the best tools for them.”
Importance of India
“What happens in India is important for the whole world. India’s building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion. So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people.”
Partnership with Jio
“One of the big opportunities I see with the partnership with Jio Platforms, is the role that we can play together in supporting the millions of small businesses in India – especially now with the impact that Covid is having. It is accelerating the move for a lot of businesses from physical storefronts to digital.”
Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries
Partnership with Facebook
“I firmly believe that technology, with all the steps that India has taken will democratize wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses. Through our partnership (Jio Platforms and Facebook), we will become a value creation platform for our customers and small businesses, giving them a chance to digitize and be at par with anybody else in the world.”
Key learnings from his entrepreneurial journey
“For all the young people at Reliance and across India, my learnings from my father, three basic tenets really. One is, for entrepreneurs, it’s important to have courage and self-belief. The second piece is that, while you succeed, it’s important to always have empathy and creativity in everything that you do. And the final thing is the importance of relationship, trust, and loyalty.”