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Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces initiatives to help SMEs go online


The KPMG-Google joint research study titled ‘Impact of Internet and digitization on SMBs in India” reports that 68% of the 51 million SMBs are offline

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced new initiatives for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India. The internet giant has announced Digital Unlocked courses in association with B-school ISB and FICCI, to help SMEs to go digital.

Digital Unlocked courses will provide online as well as offline training to SMEs. The online course compromises of 90 video tutorials and are available for free. The tutorials cover a set of topics ranging from building a web presence and driving online growth.

The offline training will be conducted in partnership with FICCI and over the next three years, 5000 workshops will be held across 40 cities in India. The offline training will be a one-day and 8-hour long session. The training programmes are certified by Google, ISB and FICCI.

“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 digitize. We believe it is important for us to invest in training and equipping these individuals and small businesses to accelerate their journey of growth,” said Pichai.

Google India also announced a new website called ‘My Business’, which will enable small businesses to create a website within just 10 minutes. MyBusiness will also ensure SMEs are listed on Google, even if they don’t always have their own websites. Google says 40,000 SMEs are listed on the search engine already.

My Business will offer templated, editable websites for small businesses created from their data and photos on Google Maps. My Business Websites will be available in 12 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu amongst others.

To teach digital marketing skills to the mobile-first audience, Google has also launched a free mobile app, called Primer, available on iOS and Android. The app is available in Hindi and English and Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions are being developed. The free app works offline and will allow business owners to try out advanced and basic courses for going digital on the go.

Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director of Google South East Asia, said that the contribution of SMEs to India’s GDP can grow by 10 percent based on KPMG-Google study. The KPMG-Google joint research study titled ‘Impact of Internet and digitization on SMBs in India” reports that 68% of the 51 million SMBs are offline.

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