Facebookis looking to understand the Indian market for virtual reality (VR) and focus on local content to push its VR technology product Oculus, a company executive said.
According to Ashutosh Jhaveri, vice-president of business development for Facebook and Oculus, the social media company aims to do this with the accelerator programme it announced last week in partnership with T-Hub where it will work with VR-focused startups.
Facebook last week announced it was setting up an India Innovation Hub in partnership with T-Hub, an incubator set up by the Telangana government, which will work with 10 VR-focused startups and will give them access to Facebook’s VR Innovation lab as part of the six-month accelerator programme.
Facebook also introduced the School of Innovation programme in partnership with Startup Village Collective, wherein 10 teams of engineering students will get to build a next generation product idea using VR.
“It will take time for VR to grow in India but we want to be there when it happens,” Jhaveri told ET on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit last week.
“The big thing is needing local content. We don’t want to show up with western content. That is one of the reasons behind the accelerator programme — to gauge the market and enter in a proper way,” he said.
Facebook is betting big on VR and is reportedly aiming to get millions of people across the globe to use its product.
VR is also finding increasing applications in India, from films and entertainment to healthcare.
“There are over 450 companies in VR in India, as per my understanding. Entrepreneurs are visualising jet engines to applications for fitness. The power of the platform is you can build anything,” Jhaveri said. “We are excited about the potential of VR here. I think as we get going in the ecosystem, there will be numerous partnerships (for Facebook) here,” he said.