Technology giants like Google, Linkedin and Microsoft are going back to schools and colleges to promote their products in India, where millions of students (read future software professionals) are learning essential skills to survive in a globalised world.
Google has rolled out a special challenge called Get Social – a competition across 37 top Indian colleges to transform the way they interact internally and externally. Students can design and deploy marketing campaigns and plans on Google’s platform to win a prize of Rs 1 lakh (~ $1900).
IIT – Patna has developed a personalized Google maps to track 250 ATMs, 180 Grocery stores, 200 medical stores and numerous eating joints around campus and shared it with the student body. Using the Get Social feature, IIT Guwahati has developed their own TV channel just before Manthan, their annual festival.
Similarly, students from IIM Shillong are using Google+ community as a digital notice board and using Google+ Hangouts not only for intra-campus group studies but also connecting with alumni who can’t travel to campus.
Google+ Hangouts are also being used by IIT-Kharagpur for running a alumni series called “StartUp Mojo” to drive on campus entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn has also announced the partnership with IIM- Ahmedabad to launch two official networking groups for the institute’s alumni. The two groups are the “Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad” group and the “Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Executive Education Alumni” group. These groups on LinkedIn will allow the IIM-A alumni, several of whom are currently top executives and entrepreneurs, to connect with their contemporaries, faculty members and current students for opportunities such as networking, mentoring and recruitment.
Earlier this year, Microsoft partnered with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to deploy its cloud services in more than 10,000 colleges and institutes throughout the country. More than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members, are expected to use these services. Indian technology companies have also been setting up centers of excellence in various campuses.
Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho Corp, set up Zoho University in 2005 to take on Google and Microsoft with products designed by students hired from neighborhood schools in the state. Zoho’s products are used by more than 6 million people around the world.