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From left: Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google; Indian IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad; Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT Aruna Sundararajan and Google Vice President, South East Asia and India Rajan Anandan, in Delhi, January 4 2016
 
 
Google launches slate of initiatives to help small businesses

New Delhi, January 5 , 2017 - Google India  will digitally empower India’s 51 million strong small and medium business community, said CEO Sundar Pichai at a function here yesterday. He was speaking to representatives from hundreds of small and medium business from across the country on the benefits of the web and digital technology.
Pichai said, “The Internet is a powerful equalizer 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. And we do this by investing in open ecosystems.”
He 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.”
Google  released findings of a joint research study with KPMG titled "Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India". The study reiterates that 68% of the 51million  Indian SMBs are offline. Highlighting the macro-economic 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% 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% catering to customers beyond their home city versus only 29% 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 the 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.
The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and 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, curated specifically for India and is available free of charge atg.co/digitalunlocked. The tutorials cover a comprehensive set of topics ranging from building a web presence and driving online growth to reaching customers over mobile and video. The trainings are certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.
 Google also launched Primer, a free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. It is available for download through theGoogle Play and iOS app store. Primer also works offline and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.
Google previewed My Business Websites, aimed at equipping the vast majority of small businesses with a simple way to start their digital journey by creating  a free, mobile optimised website, easily and instantly. Available for Google My Business users later in the year, this new feature will provide simple, templated, editable websites for small businesses created from their data and photos on Google Maps. My Business Websites will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.




    


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