Google Reaffirms Commitment To Digitally Empower Small And Medium Businesses In India
Announces ‘Digital Unlocked’ skills program - making quality ‘going digital’ training available to every single SMB in India that wants it starting today. Also announces My Business Websites, which will allow any business in India to create and easily manage a free, mobile optimized website, even from a smartphone, starting later this year.
Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta for Businessworld,
Google India today announced a program to digitally empower India’s 51 million strong small and medium business community. Making the announcements at an event held in the city today, Sundar Pichai, CEO-Google, spoke to representatives from hundreds of small and medium business from across the country on the benefits of the web and digital technology.
During his address, Sundar Pichai said, “The Internet is a powerful equalizer and we are motivated to bringing 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. And we do this by investing in open ecosystems.”
Referring specifically to small and medium businesses, Pichai added, “The Internet and digital technology will be an engine of growth for the Indian economy. Today, anyone can become an entrepreneur, a developer, or a creator, but it is important that they have the right tools and skills to digitize. We believe it is important for us to invest in training and equipping these individuals and small businesses to accelerate their journey of growth.”
Setting the context for the initiative Google unveiled a joint research study with KPMG titled "Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India". The study reiterates that 68 per cent of the 51 million Indian SMBs are offline. Highlighting the macroeconomic impact of the internet, the research found that rising penetration and greater uptake for digital by SMBs could help increase their contribution to India’s GDP by 10 percentage points, taking it up to 46-48 per cent by 2020. Ascertaining the benefits of going digital for small businesses, it determined 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 per cent catering to customers beyond their home city versus only 29 per cent offline SMBs. The report cites the lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills as the essential reasons for being offline.
To address this gap, Google announced the launch of Digital Unlocked, a training program to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills that will enable them to get online and start using the power of the internet to grow their business. Google also previewed My Business Websites, an easy-to-use offering to help businesses to have a rich, mobile optimised digital presence that will be launched later this year.
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