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Google looks to empower small businesses with website builder, digital training

“When we solve for a place like India, we solve for everyone around the world. That has led us to grow our team here and spend more time and ensure the products are useful for everyone,” he said.

tech Updated: Jan 04, 2017 15:46 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Anirban Ghoshal
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Google,Sundar Pichai,Small and medium businesses
CEO of Google Inc. Sundar Pichai (L) shakes hands with union minister for information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad at the end of a meeting about partnering with small business in New Delhi on January 4, 2017.(AFP)

Internet giant Google on Wednesday launched two new initiatives -- a digital training programme called Digital Unlocked and a free website builder called Google My Business app -- aimed at empowering nearly 51 million small and medium businesses (SMB) in the country.

“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,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said while launching the two new initiatives in New Delhi.

‘Digital Unlocked’

“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 digitise.

We believe it is important for us to invest in training and equipping these individuals and small businesses to accelerate their journey of growth,” Pichai on the Digital Unlocked initiative.

Under Digital Unlocked, Google will hold 5,000 offline training workshops, in partnership with FICCI and the Indian School of Business, over the next three years across 40 cities. The online training comprises a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials with sets of topics ranging from building a web presence and driving online growth to reaching customers over mobile and video. The trainings will be certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.

The Internet giant also launched a new mobile app, called Primer, which will impart similar digital training to businesses in an interactive manner. The app, which will be available on Android and iOS, also works offline and will be available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.

My Business Websites

Pichai also launched a free app called My Business Websites, aimed at equipping the vast majority of small businesses with a simple way to start their digital journey. 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.

According to a KPMG report, a 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.

Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present at the launch, asked Google to look into the country’s cybersecurity.

First Published: Jan 04, 2017 14:27 IST