IBM to increase investment in India

IBM has committed to increase investments in India, the technology company’s chief executive Arvind Krishna told Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a video conference call.

The commitment comes a week after Modi held a similar video call with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Google announced a $10 billion investment into India over the next 5-7 years, including a $4.5 billion infusion into Jio Platforms in return for a 7.73% stake.

India-born Krishna, who took over as CEO of IBM in April, also expressed confidence in the PM’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) and briefed him about his company’s investment plans in India. The details of the investment were not immediately available.

Modi said that this was a great time to invest in India and the country is “welcoming and supporting” investments taking place in the technology sector.

While the world is witnessing a slowdown, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow is increasing. “We are moving forward with the vision of a self-sufficient India so that a globally competent and disruption resilient local supply chain can be developed,” Modi said. IBM has over 100,000 employees in India working for its global operations as well as the local market. In fiscal year 2019, IBM India reported revenues of $3.8 billion.

Modi and Krishna also explored the possibility of creating India-specific AI based tools in the healthcare sector and development of better models for disease prediction and analysis.

“India is moving towards development of an integrated, tech and data driven healthcare system which is affordable and hassle-free,” Modi said. Krishna appreciated the government’s Ayushman Bharat initiative and talked about using technology for early identification of diseases.