In a move to empower small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced two new initiatives- Digital Unlocked
and My Business Websites. The much awaited announcement was made at an SMB-focused event in New Delhi, India.
While focusing on the needs of SMBs in India, Pichai stressed on the power of Internet to transform entrepreneurship. He held that it is important to bring Indian SMBs online. During the event, Google also unveiled a joint study with KPMG
titled “Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India”
. The study revealed that 68 percent of the 51 million SMBs in India are offline, quoting the lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technology and technical skills as the primary reasons for being offline.
To address this gap, Google has launched the Digital Unlocked training program which is aimed at empowering Indian SMBs with essential digital skills. According to the company, this will “enable them to get online and start using the power of the Internet to grow their business.”
The program has been built “across online, offline, and mobile” to ensure small businesses in India can go digital by gaining easy access to quality training. The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI
and over the next three years, Google aims to hold 5,000 workshops across 40 Indian cities. As for the online option, a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials curated specifically for India are made available by the company free of charge.
Furthermore, the software pioneer has also launched a free mobile app called Primer
to teach digital marketing on a mobile platform. The app which aims at imparting digital marketing skills in an interactive manner has been made available in both Google Play
and iOS app store
. The app can work offline and is available in English and Hindi. Google also plans to make tutorials in Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions.
My Business Websites
While Digital Unlocked was all about digital skills, Google also found a way to help SMBs put these skills to direct usage. With My Business Websites that was launched in a preview form, the company aims to help business have a “rich, optimized mobile digital presence”. The full version is scheduled to be launched later this year for Google My Business users.
The service will enable small businesses to start their digital journey by helping them create a mobile optimized website for free. This will use data provided by business alongside photos from Google Maps, providing templates, editable websites. The service will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
After today’s ambitious announcement, Pichai is now set to visit his alma mater, IIT Kharagpur, tomorrow. Let’s see what new announcements await us!