The small and medium businesses (SMBs) sector which contributes nearly 37 per cent of India’s GDP, is fast adopting new digital technologies to stay up-to-date in the race, according to a top Google India executive.
SMBs can potentially contribute a lot more if they can expand their area of influence and grow their businesses faster, according to a recent KPMG India and Google report on “Impact of Internet and Digitisation on SMBs in India”.
“SMBs in India want to both learn and grow. More than a million businesses have actually set up their websites through Google Business,” said Shalini Girish-Director, Google customer Solutions, India.
“There are over 26 million listings that have been set up by businesses. There are about 58.5 million SMBs in India and 45 per cent of them have a presence on Google Maps and Google Search. The adoption is improving no doubt but there are still millions of businesses that need to come online. We’re continuing our efforts on that,” Girish told IANS.
The free offering for SMBs to list on Search and Maps is called “Google My Business” that makes it easy for businesses to be discoverable by customers.
Google India has also been working to digitally empower India’s SMBs for the past two years, essentially by providing them marketing solutions through which they can reach out to global audience, without being location-agnostic with minimum or no monetary investments.
The Internet giant currently provides solutions for both conventional and age-old businesses to new-age start-ups.
For Indian startups, it offers mentorship through a launchpad accelerator programme.
The three-month mentorship covers all aspects of product design, business models, product credits and technology support to build for scale and go to market strategies. At least 50 Indian start-ups have benefitted from the programme till date.
“We’re happy to see there’s been a lot of traction (from the medium and small enterprises or MSMEs). We’re committed for the next several years to invest in the country, people and its business communities because there’s still a lot more we can do,” said Girish.
The company rolled out a free tool called “Google Market Finder” last year for the Indian businesses, which helps them overcome barriers when they want to expand internationally.
The tool essentially helps businesses identify and evaluate new markets by using Google Search trends data by capturing the volume and also indicates the level of competitive activity in the region.
On the marketing front, the Internet behemoth’s smart campaigns help SMBs create ads and drive results. Smart campaigns are currently available in regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.
Marathi and other Indian languages would follow soon, said the company.