@ 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: