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@ SAMMA: Google India Head Spends 40 Percent Time Speaking To Local Authorities

At Samma: Google India Head Shailesh RaoAt the South Asians in Media and Marketing Summit this weekend in NYC, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) India managing director Shailesh Rao gave the opening keynote, and besides the usual company-speak about Google’s mission, he had an interesting stat to share: he said he spends about 40 percent of his time everyday speaking to police commissioners, ministers and others in the administration in India, and talking to parents and children, “explaining what this means”, in an attempt to figure out what’s legal and illegal on services like Orkut, and others. That is also part of the reason why Google India is based in Delhi, and not Bangalore or Mumbai.

Also, I asked him a question about challenges in trying to develop a local search index, and he didn’t really have a clear answer for it, but acknowledged it is the hardest problem he faces.

I recorded the relevant part of his presentation, and though the audio is clear, you’ll have to turn up the volume to listen. Stream below:

6 Responses to “@ SAMMA: Google India Head Spends 40 Percent Time Speaking To Local Authorities”

  1. Just one reason why it will take a long time for the Indians to become a developed country. Talking about 10 percent growth is one thing…but first take care of the red tape! Since I am an Indian based in Korea, I can tell you… we can learn a lot from these Koreans. For one you should know that it takes just 30 minutes to register a business here…. India it would take anywhere between 6 months to a year! DHRUV….you may be right… thats the only way to deal with the bureucrats in India…KHABRI, No way Sailesh Rao will be fired…thats what anyone who has international dealings would say if they have to run an operation in India. SHYAM , you may be right…but that doesn't excuse the red tape in Bharat….

  2. Well, there are three key positions open at Google India, which maybe the reason why Shailesh is speaking on these matters:

    Head of Communications and Public Affairs – Gurgaon
    Head of Government Affairs – Delhi
    Product and Litigation Counsel – New Delhi

    The communications and PA position has been open now for a few months, while the Head of Government Affairs post is a new one.

  3. India has plenty of laws however most of them are antiquated and very few are relevant to new media like blogs and social networking sites, no doubt the Google head spends so much time talking to administrators. Maybe Google should try recruiting a lawyer for the top job??