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  Technology   In Other news  05 Jan 2017  Google unveils initiatives to help Indian SMEs go digital

Google unveils initiatives to help Indian SMEs go digital

Published : Jan 5, 2017, 7:20 am IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2017, 7:20 am IST

Google's India-born chief Sundar Pichai has announced a number of initiatives to help these enterprises go digital.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
 Google CEO Sundar Pichai

To further tap into the 51-million strong small and medium businesses (SMBs) market in the country, Google's India-born chief Sundar Pichai has announced a number of initiatives to help these enterprises go digital.

Pichai, who is scheduled to visit his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur today, said the company is working on products for India that can be expanded globally.

"When we solve for a place like India, we solve for everyone around the world. That has led us to grow our team here and spend more time and ensure the products are useful for everyone," he said at a Google event here.

He added that SMBs are a growth driver for the Indian economy.

"It is important that they have the right tools and skills to digitise. We believe it is important for us to invest in training and equipping these individuals and small businesses to accelerate their journey of growth," he said.

Over 8 million Indian SMBs are already using Google's platforms.

A joint research study by Google-KPMG estimates that 68 per cent of the 51 million Indian SMBs are offline. It also states rising Internet 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.

Profits of digitally engaged SMBs grow twice as fast (compared to their offline peers) and they are also able to grow their customer base significantly, it added.

The report cited the lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills as the essential reasons for being offline.

To overcome these challenges, Google has launched Digital

Unlocked — a training programme to enable SMBs get online and start using Internet to grow their business. The training is being conducted with FICCI.

Over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities. The online training comprises a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials, curate specifically for India and will be available free of charge. The trainings are certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.

Besides, it also launched Primer — a free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in an interactive way. Available for Android and Apple phones, Primer will also work offline and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.

The US-based firm also previewed My Business Websites to help businesses to have a rich, mobile-optimised digital presence that will be launched later this year.

"SMBs have always been key users of our platform right from the beginning," Google Vice-President India and South-East Asia Rajan Anandan said.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundararajan were also present at the event.

Tags: google, sundar pichai, indian economy