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Google to help Indian small medium business succeed on the Net

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Launches Google SME Heroes campaign with CII to encourage more SMBs to adopt the Internet

Will introduce new mobile Apps to help SMBs get online

Pune (Nov. 20 2014): Google on Wednesday announced its plans to significantly scale up its initiatives to help Indian small medium businesses to succeed online. According to latest research conducted by Zinnov on behalf of Google, India has over 48 million small medium businesses and out of this over 8 to 10 million SMBs can immediately gain from adopting Internet technologies and grow their business by advertising online.

Small businesses have been key to Google’s success from the very beginning. Globally over 2 million businesses use Google’s advertising platform to find potential buyers on Internet. India already has over 250 million plus Internet users and is set to overtake US in 2015 by reaching 350 million Internet users. But small medium businesses in India have been slow to adopt the Internet, out of the 48 million SMBs in India only 5 to 6 percent businesses have a website. Majority of small medium businesses in India have ignored the potential of Internet to grow and expand their horizons. The challenge has been lack of awareness on the benefits of Internet and second has been the know-how required to succeed online.

Speaking about Google’s plans to overcome the challenges in India, Suryanarayana Kodukulla, Head of SMB sales, Google India said, “India is a strategic market for Google and we are committed to invest in solutions that will cater to the needs of SMBs in India. We have set a very ambitious plan of bringing down the barriers that inhibits SMBs in India from embracing the Internet. As part of our Digitising India mission, we will introduce new mobile based products that will help Indian SMBs to create and manage their Internet presence and help them to connect with potential customers online. We will also invest in extending deeper support services through a local partner network and local language call centres. In addition to this, to tackle the challenge of lack of awareness around the benefits of Internet we are partnering CII to help create awareness amongst SMBs to accelerate the adoption of Internet.”

Launching the first of many initiatives with CII, Google India also announced the launch of Google SME Heroes initiative, which will showcase and celebrate local small medium businesses that have embraced the Internet to grow their business. The national campaign will shortlist 5 finalists in each major city of India, who will then be invited to the national capital for a mega SMB event where four regional and one national winner will be announced. The objective behind the campaign is to inspire small medium businesses by showcasing successful entrepreneurs who have excelled by using Internet innovatively.

Speaking at the launch, Sujith Haridas, Deputy Director General, CII “The Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment will play a significant role in the emergence of the Indian economy. The development of this segment is extremely critical to meet the national imperatives of financial inclusion and generation of significant levels of employment across urban, and rural areas across the country. Internet and cloud technologies can really help MSME stay competitive and compete with large national and International players. We are delighted to partner Google to create better understanding amongst the businesses on the benefits of adopting Internet and will carry out joint initiatives to address the needs of MSME in India.”

The five finalists from Pune, shortlisted by Google and CII were chosen on the basis of business model, impact of Internet on the business. What is unique about Pune is that most of the SMEs in Pune are in the B2B space and their use of Internet to promote their business is an excellent example of how companies can embrace Internet to target customers across the country. These five finalists were shortlisted from 100s of entries received from Pune.

Five finalists from Pune for the Google SME Heroes include:

Giftease: Vivek Mathur, CEO at Giftease Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Giftease, established in 2012 is an online gifting specialist, offering products across categories such as Chocolates, Home Decor, Jewellery, Toys and games, Gadgets and much more. Being a new entrant in the online gifting industry, the company was faced with a challenge of not just growing its market share and attracting an online audience but also creating awareness about their brand, in a cluttered market. Google AdWords solution helped them in acquiring new customers, which is crucial for a new site, as well as spreading the word about their brands and offering.  

Racold: Prashant Dhar, Head (General Manager)-Marketing at Racold (Ariston) Thermo Ltd
Racold is a leading water heater manufacturer in India, for both electric and solar heater. To further strengthen their position as market leaders in the category Racold started exploring effective online platforms. They mapped out an online marketing plan in 2012 and allocated 8-10% of their ATL budget to a digital outreach program. They have recently introduced a mobile app and a mobile website and have also created an interactive app –Fog a doodle which had more than 16000 downloads

Sudha Enterprise: Mr. Vishal Kittur, Owner, Sudha Enterprises
Sudha Enterprises is a leading trader of agro and industrial chemicals.  Five years back, the company felt a need to expand their presence across the country and establish a strong brand presence for them. Most of their online traffic comes from Search engines, and is driven by Google AdWords. They have also witnessed an increase in enquires on their website since the campaign. Apart from customers, their online efforts have also helped them get in touch with suppliers across the country.

Sanket Safety Equipments: Bharat S Ostwal, Director
Sanket Safety Equipments is an exporter, manufacturer, supplier, trader and distributor of Safety Helmets, Industrial Helmets, Safety Hand Gloves and Safety Goggles. Last year, Sanket Safety Equipment’s was re-looking at their marketing campaigns with a view to reach out to more people and create awareness about their niche set of products. The company realised that for an operations of their scale hiring a marketing resource and starting an offline marketing campaign would be expensive. That’s when they decided to take the online marketing route, which would help them reach more people, be cost effective and also enable relevant enquiries.

CTR: SJ Gijare, Owner
CTR has been manufacturing in since 1964. Their product range includes Flange Mounted Tap Changer, In Tank Tap Changer, Pressed Steel Radiators, Nitrogen Injection Fire Protection System for Power Transformers, Electronic & Electrical Capacitors, Material Handling Equipment, Industrial Safety Products, Power Transformer Health Monitoring System etc. The company started online campaign a few years back. With a view of expanding their customer base and creating awareness about their brand and offerings, they launched their online marketing campaign, that has helped them to get more enquires to their websites and also helped them bridge a direct connect with customers.