Google has launched easy to use new product, ‘Google My Business’ to help Indian small medium businesses succeed online. The new product designed to work across both desktop and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) will help small medium businesses to create and update their business info on Google Search, Maps and Google+ from one place for free in both Hindi and English.
The new product makes it easier for businesses to create their online presence even when they don’t have a website and manage it from their smartphones. It will also make it easier for customers to get in touch with local businesses when they search for them online.
According to latest research conducted by Zinnov on behalf of Google, India has over 48 million small medium businesses and out of this over 8 to 10 million SMBs can immediately gain from adopting Internet technologies and grow their business by advertising online.
India already has over 250 million plus Internet users and is set to overtake US in 2015 by reaching 350 million Internet users. But small medium businesses in India have been slow to adopt the Internet, out of the 48 million SMBs in India only 5 to 6 per cent businesses have a website. Majority of small medium businesses in India have ignored the potential of Internet to grow and expand their horizons. The challenge has been lack of awareness on the benefits of Internet and second has been the know-how required to succeed online.
Speaking about Google’s plans to overcome the challenges in India, Suryanarayana Kodukulla, Head (SMB sales), Google India, said, “India is a strategic market for Google and we are committed to invest in solutions that cater to the needs of SMBs in India. Small businesses have been key to Google’s success from the very beginning. Globally over 2 million businesses use Google’s advertising platform to find potential buyers on Internet. We have set a very ambitious plan of bringing down the barriers that inhibits SMBs in India from embracing the Internet.”
“As part of our Digitising India mission, we are introducing this new mobile based product ‘Google My Business’ that will help Indian SMBs to create and manage their Internet presence and help them to connect with potential customers online. We are also investing in extending deeper support services through a local partner network and local language call centres. In addition to this, to tackle the challenge of lack of awareness around the benefits of Internet we are partnering CII to help create awareness amongst SMBs to accelerate the adoption of Internet,” he added.
Launching the first of many initiatives with CII, Google India also announced the launch of Google SME Heroes initiative in Chandigarh, The initiative aims to showcase and celebrate local small medium businesses that have embraced the Internet to grow their business. The national campaign will shortlist 5 finalists in each major city of India, who will then be invited to the national capital for a mega SMB event where four regional and one national winner will be announced. The objective behind the campaign is to inspire small medium businesses by showcasing successful entrepreneurs who have excelled by using Internet innovatively.
Sujith Haridas, Deputy Director General, CII, said, “The Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment will play a significant role in the emergence of the Indian economy. The development of this segment is extremely critical to meet the national imperatives of financial inclusion and generation of significant levels of employment across urban, and rural areas across the country. Internet and cloud technologies can really help MSME stay competitive and compete with large national and International players. We are delighted to partner with Google to create better understanding amongst the businesses on the benefits of adopting Internet and will carry out joint initiatives to address the needs of MSME in India.”
The five finalists from Chandigarh, shortlisted by Google and CII were chosen on the basis of business model, impact of Internet on the business.