Meta opens new office in India; will skill 1 crore small businesses

The new office building in Gurugram will house teams from across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp

Meta, formerly Facebook, on Wednesday opened one of its largest offices in Asia in India, and announced plans to skill 1 crore small businesses and 2,50,000 creators over the next three years in the country through its Centre for Fuelling India’s New Economy (C-FINE).

The new office building in Gurugram, which hosts the C-FINE, will house teams from across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

“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 said.

He added that the new Centre will be dedicated to training and skilling India’s small business owners, creators, entrepreneurs and local communities to enable them to both fuel and leverage the digital transformation underway 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,” Mr Mohan said.

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who was present at the event, noted that 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.

Pointing out that the power of the Internet lies in its ability to fuel new economy, entrepreneurship and innovation, and in empowering youngsters, the Minister stressed that, "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.”

Mr 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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