In an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the launch of Google’s My Business as part of their ‘Digital Unlocked‘ initiative, which will enable more small and medium enterprises to go online and further the cause of Digital India.
The event highlighted that small and medium-sized businesses are an integral part of the Indian economy and to empower them digitally, Google has launched the Digital Unlocked initiative.
A joint study by Google and KPMG revealed that only 32% of Indian SMBs are online and have a digital presence and only 6% have a website.
Digital Unlocked is an initiative which will also train India’s 51 million small and medium businesses to embrace digital world by enhancing their digital skills which will help them harness the power of Internet.
Talking at the event, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai said, “When I was in Chennai during my childhood days, access to information was a luxury — but this luxury is now readily available thanks to the internet. The internet has changed the world, it’s as useful for a big merchant as it is for a small one too.”
Getting online will help these businesses boost up their business as India’s internet penetration grows by the day and an increased number of people are turning to the internet to search for services.
Google has tied up with government organisation such as Federation of India for Commerce Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and an educational institution like the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad for training and certification.
How is this Beneficial for SMBs?
For a long time Google has been active towards business listings on the web, and with My Business these listings can now be converted into a website which will be available in nine Indic languages.
“The internet is a powerful equaliser, and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible. Building for everyone and making it available in the hands of as many people is at the heart and core of what we do,” he added.
Small and Medium sized businesses can now make use of this feature and transform their Google listing into a website not only in English but also in Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada and Malayalam.
Google has been working towards making the Internet accessible to as many people as possible, and that’s one of the reasons they invest in open ecosystems such as Android.
“People used to believe that the internet isn’t for everyone — that is increasingly changing — but it can be and should be as it facilitates everyone. Information is a powerful tool, be it for an individual or an enterprise,” he continued.
Google has similar initiatives in three dozen other countries which are targeted towards digitisation of small and medium scale businesses.
The joint study also noted that profits of digitally engaged SMBs grow twice as fast compared to offline SMBs. Likewise digitally engaged businesses are able to grow their customer base significantly with 52% catering to customers beyond their home city versus only 29% offline SMBs.
Google also mentioned that this offline training under ‘Digital Unlocked’ initiative is already underway in Indore, New Delhi, Jalandhar and Bhopal and will be carried out in partnership with FICCI over the next three years by setting up 5000 workshops across 40 Indian cities.
The My Business tool for making mobile optimised websites for small businesses without having to invest in a server or domain will be made available later this year in India.