Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook Inc., today said it will provide training to 1 crore small businesses and entrepreneurs and 250,000 creators in India in the next three years.
To support this initiative, the company has set up a Center for Fuelling India’s New Economy (C-FINE), which will be located in Meta's new office that is located in a 130,000 sq feet building in Gurugram.
Meta didn’t explain what a standalone office is but claimed the new office space is one of its largest and also the first standalone office in Asia.
"We see this office as an opportunity for us to build a space that will house our largest team in the country. The office will be open to anyone who is driving change - be it creators, small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists or community leaders," Ajit Mohan, Vice-President & Managing Director, Facebook India (Meta) said.
Small businesses were among the most affected groups due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. It forced many of them to switch to online apps and social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp for Business to showcase and sell their products.
According to the Facebook India team, apart from training, the C-FINE will also be used to showcase how technologies such as AR and VR can transform sectors such as education, healthcare and commerce.
Meta has been betting heavily on AR and VR, both of which are vital cogs in the company's ambitious plans to become a Metaverse company, which was revealed by CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook Connect event in October.
The C-FINE will also be used for community impact programs including safety training for women and children.
The new office and the C-FINE were inaugurated earlier today by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, who said, "I hope initiatives like C-FINE, where technology is being positioned to fuel entrepreneurship & innovation and empower youngsters all around the country, take their dreams & create critical mass, size & scale. This is exactly what the power of the Internet and technology should be.”
The Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules require social media companies to have an office in India. However, according to experts, the size of the office is irrelevant as per the guidelines. Meta already had an office in India, albeit a smaller one.