Google, under its new initiative named “India, get your business online” will take 50,000 small and medium businesses in Gujarat online by end of 2014, the company said in a press release. With the core objective of breaking down the technological barrier that stops Indian SMEs from adapting to Internet, Google will offer free websites and hosting facilities to SMEs for free.
Marking the commencement of the project, Google India & HostGator created websites for 5000 SMEs in some of India’s most popular traditional markets such as Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. All these units can use Google’s 24X7 customer support to manage their websites in addition to gain access to free online advertising credit that can be used on Google search to promote their business online. Google has also created Google maps listings and Google+ business pages for these 5000 SMEs.
“SMEs are a key driver for economic growth of India, but very few businesses have been able to utilize the benefits of the internet effectively. Gujarat houses the largest number of SMEs in the country. These can benefit greatly by having a website for their businesses which will open up new markets for them,” Suryanarayana K, Head- SMB Sales, Google India, said as he announced the initiative. “Google’s India Get Your Business Online initiative aims to boost the SME ecosystem by giving them a simple, effective and free platform to get their business online. We aim to get 50,000 SMEs online, which will dramatically change the business landscape and opportunities for SMEs in Gujarat,” he added.
Traditional businesses unites located in popular local markets in Ahmedabad like the Manek Chowk, Teen Darwaza, Kabootar Khanna, Lathi Bazaar are covered under the program. Millenium market and Radha Krishnan market (textile market) come under the project in Surat while in Rajkot, Soni bazaar and Sant Kabir road famous for jewellery stories will be benefited by the campaign.
“We get a lot of customers who always ask us about our website as nowadays the customers expect us to put our catalogue online. We have been thinking about making one but we did not know how to go about it. With Google offering to set up a website for us, our business is now accessible online to anyone and everyone in Ahmedabad. A website today is like a mobile phone, as a business you need to invest in one and grow your business. With our website we can also look at expanding our customer base which is not limited to Ahmedabad,” Nakul Makker, owner of Swati Furniture based in Visharam Marg, Ahmedabad said.
Google also plans to host a series of workshops via its 200 partners in Gujarat to provide local support to SMEs in this regard.