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Google launches Hyderabad centre

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, OCT. 12. Google, often referred to as `the closest thing that the web has to an ultimate answering machine', formally launched its Hyderabad engineering centre on Tuesday, coinciding with the visit of its two young founders — Sergey Brin, originally a native of Moscow, and Larry Page. It was at Stanford University where they met and worked on the project that became Google.

On a whirlwind tour they visited Dublin (Ireland, where they have another centre), and Delhi where the two called on the President of India, but missed the Prime Minister, before visiting their Hyderabad facility on Tuesday saying they considered India a `very very dynamic country'.

In an interaction with select presspersons here, Mr. Brin (President, Technology) said they chose Hyderabad because of its large well-educated, technology literate and English speaking population, competitive environment and a sound infrastructure. Their small but growing team is located in one of the floors of RMC building near HITEC City.

While declining politely to reveal the number of people at Hyderabad, the investment or even the extent of floor space taken on lease here, they however said that the centre would mirror Google's other engineering offices. It is the second Google office in India (after Bangalore), and will be home to engineering, online sales and operations and human resources functions. Google's Adwords advertisers and AdSense publishers throughout the world will receive seamless online sales services and support from the Hyderabad team also.

Growth plans for India

They would not give out much except saying "We are investing heavily and have significant growth plans for India (and Hyderabad)". With 20 offices globally, and 2,200 employees, Google today has more than 4.2 billion web pages and files. It also offers Adbusiness, matching buyers and sellers in 40 languages, including Hindi, leading Mr. Brin to say" we do not consider this (Indian operations) outsourcing because we serve millions of people here".

On the commercial launch of their Gmail, Mr. Brin said no specific date had been fixed yet. They have a user base and were building on it. They are working on a contract for outsourcing financial services of `mechanical nature'. On acquisitions, all they would say was "It is pretty routine for us. We are open and always look for options". On their declared willingness to invest in companies which showed even a 10 per cent chance to become billion dollar companies, he merely said "Yes there are many (such) opportunities".

In reply to a question they said, "Only a small portion of Google is concerned with pornography in Adword. We face no cultural problems when it comes to working on such things as we are transparent".

The two were happy at meeting the President of India, who "is extraordinarily knowledgeable, more than us. He made a number of suggestions. The President discussed how children could use Google to research for themselves". They were happy CNG buses were used in Delhi, but regretted not being able to sight any "monkeys". In Hyderabad, they enjoyed a ride in an auto rickshaw enroute to the HITEC City.

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