Facebook’s ‘Fuel for India’ 2020 shows company’s optimism for the country


The US social media giant Facebook launched the first edition of its ‘Fuel for India’, by assuring its commitment to invest in India for the long term.

The company aims to create more tools for businesses to help them build and grow their online presence.

David Fischer Chief Revenue Officer of Facebook said the company has made investments and undertaken some unique bets that it hasn’t done in any other part of the world.

“One of the things that really stands out about India is the pace of innovation, and the transformation that’s happening here and the impact that it is having. And that’s the reason that we are making special investments, we’ve set up a special structure for India and doing some things in India that we haven’t done anywhere else around the world, making some unique investments and bets,” Fischer said at the Fuel For India event.

Facebook India VP and MD Ajit Mohan observed that scores of Indian entrepreneurs and companies “are using tech to power education for millions”.

Notable among them is Unacademy. Earlier in 2020, Facebook had led a major investment in the homegrown edtech unicorn, “marking its commitment for internet enterprises in India”. Calling Unacademy “one of the most exciting startups in India”, Mohan said, “The company is transforming learning through new tools that remove geographical barriers and enable learners with access to quality education.”

Joining him in a conversation was Unacademy Co-founder and CEO Gaurav Munjal, who believes that education is a “privilege” and technology is democratizing it. “We always talk of privilege in terms of money. But privilege in terms of knowledge is also huge. We’re democratizing knowledge to help you meet your life goals,” he said.

At the ‘Fuel for India 2020’, company chief Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani also engaged in a conversation around opportunities in India, the way digital can accelerate economic progress, and how small businesses will be a key part of the global recovery going forward.

Fischer noted that India is the only country the company has made minority investments in companies like Meesho and Unacademy, to advance digital innovation.

“Of course, there is our partnership with Jio platforms. The joint focus of both companies is on connecting people, helping digital economy come to life and empowering the more than 60 million small businesses across India with digital tools…So we’re really enthusiastic about the opportunities in India,” he added.

Talking about event, Ajit Mohan also talked about how non-profits, individuals using Facebook groups, businesses, and creators are leveraging Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

“We believe that the story that of our work in India, across our apps, the impact is so wide that this was an opportunity for us to tell those stories but really relying on our partners and creators to talk about how they’re using our platforms,” he added.