Meta to skill 1 crore small businesses, 2.5 lakh creators in India

Asia's Tech News Daily

#Business, #Delhi-NCR, #India, #Meta

(Image Courtesy: Reuters)

Meta (formerly Facebook) on Wednesday unveiled a new office in Delhi-NCR – one of its biggest facilities in Asia – and announced plans of skilling one crore small businesses and 2,50,000 creators in the country over the next three years.

Spanning 1.3 lakh sq ft, this is Meta’s first standalone office facility in Asia.

The premises also house the Centre for Fuelling India’s New Economy (CFINE) that will train small businesses and creators.

The new Meta office is designed with an open floor plan and an unfinished look, similar to the headquarters in Menlo Park in the US.

The new office in the city will house various teams from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Meta said this is meant to inspire collaboration and the consciously exposed concrete pillars and wires on the roof are meant to reflect its startup roots.

The company has unveiled its first office in the country in Hyderabad in 2010.

“India’s not just the largest country for Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, it’s also where in many ways, the future of the internet is being shaped. We see this office as an opportunity for us to build a space that does not just house our largest team in the country, but will also be a space that deeply engages with the world outside,” Facebook India (Meta) Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan told reporters.

He added that CFINE – a multifunctional centre – will bring together all its products and efforts and its mission will be to use technology and tools being built by the company to fuel growth for creators, small businesses and entrepreneurs in the country.

Over the next three years, we will attempt to train and skill 1 crore small businesses and 2,50,000 creators through the centre.

We realise this is no small task, but we recognise that we have an obligation to rise to the unique opportunity presented by the forces of technology transforming India, Mohan said.

He further said: This is an opportunity in line with the openness of India’s internet and the fundamental democratic values that drive institutions that we have benefited from.

Earlier this year, the government announced rules that require large social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer in the country.

They will also be required to have a physical contact address in India published on its website or mobile app, or both.

The rules were introduced to make social media platforms — which have seen a phenomenal surge in usage over the past few years in India — more accountable and responsible for the content hosted on their platform.

As per data cited by the government at that time, India had 53 crore WhatsApp users, 41 crore Facebook subscribers, and 21 crore Instagram users.

Meta said the new office has been designed with modern, minimalist and functional furniture, and includes touchless technology to ensure hygiene and safety of employees.

Meta has also collaborated with Indian artists Pratap Morey, Rohini Devasher and Sameer Kulavoor to create large artworks.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said technology is deeply and almost irreversibly changing the trajectory of the country.

While there will always be a debate about user harm, and all of the proliferations of problems that are created by the expanding internet, we must focus on keeping the internet open, safe and trusted and accountable in all ways and for all Indians, he added.

The minister said the power of the internet lies in its ability to fuel new economy, entrepreneurship and innovation, and in empowering youngsters.

We must mitigate user harm and ensure that the narrative around internet and technology continues to grow around the positivity that technology brings to the lives of so many people, the minister emphasised.

Chandrasekhar said all big internet companies have tremendous ability to influence the trajectory in good or bad ways for entrepreneurship, for citizens and indeed societies at large, and that technology must be harnessed for good.

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