Google India on Tuesday announced the launch of a nationwide initiative to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to go digital and get online presence on Google search and Google maps, without having to invest in a website or domain.
Google India is optimistic about getting around 20 million SMEs online by 2017 by using a simple mobile-based app, called 'Google My Business', that will help businesses create and manage their business information across Google products for free in both Hindi and English.
With over 300 million plus Internet users and over 6 million new Internet users coming online every month, Indian users are increasingly looking for information about businesses online. There is a massive information gap for local businesses on the Internet today, out of the total 51 million SMEs in India, less than 5 to 6 per cent have an online presence.
With this new product, Google aims to bridge the gap through a massive feet on street initiative to help SMEs all across India to get online.
Speaking about the initiative, Google South East Asia & India vice-president & managing director Rajan Anandan said, "In the next three years India will have over 500 million Internet users and these users will need access to all kind of information in their local languages. Indian SMEs have struggled to build and maintain their online presence. Search experience for local business in India is broken today and we want to fix it by connecting businesses with their customers."
"SMEs have been central to Google's success globally and have been strategic focus for us in India. Google My Business is our first mobile based product initiative for SMEs and we have seen immediate adoption of it in India. In the last 5 months, during our pilot phase, over a million SMEs have found a place on the Internet and we are engaging 25,000 new SMEs every week. Our moon shot aim is to get 20 million SMEs online in the next three years," he added.