Google aims to get 50,000 Gujarat SMEs online

MUMBAI: Google India has announced its plan to get 50,000 small medium businesses in Gujarat online by end of 2014. The initiative is part of Google?s national campaign titled ?India, get your business online? which offers free websites and hosting to small medium business in India. The campaign is aimed at bringing down the barrier that prevents small medium businesses to get on the Internet. Giving a head start to this project, Google also unveiled the details of a special project wherein Google India & HostGator went to popular traditional markets in Ahmadabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot and built websites for 5,000 small businesses making them accessible to the world.

In addition to creating the websites, Google India also created Google maps listings and Google+ business pages for these businesses. All these 5,000 businesses will be able to use 24x7 customer support to manage their websites and get free online advertising credit that can be used on Google search to promote their business online.

This initiative was announced by Google India Head - SMB Sales Suryanarayana K, who said, ?SMEs are a key driver for economic growth of India, but very few businesses have been able to utilise the benefits of the internet effectively. Gujarat houses the largest number of SMEs in the country. These can benefit greatly by having a website for their businesses which will open up new markets for them. Google?s ?India Get Your Business Online? initiative aims to boost the SME ecosystem by giving them a simple, effective and free platform to get their business online. We aim to get 50,000 SMEs online, which will dramatically change the business landscape and opportunities for SMEs in Gujarat.? 

?Our research has shown that SMEs who use internet, see revenue growth of 51 per cent and raise in profits by 49 per cent. Gujarat already represents 10 per cent of the total internet population in the country and houses many export oriented businesses, by being present on the internet, they can make the world their market and continue to boost the economy of the country?, he added. 

Amongst the businesses that were covered in the project, Google India team built websites for traditional businesses operating out of popular local markets in Ahmedabad like the Manek Chowk, Teen Darwaza, Kabootar Khanna, Lathi Bazaar. In Surat the project covered Millenium market, Radha Krishnan market (textile market), In Rajkot - Soni bazaar and Sant Kabir road famous for jewellery stories, and in Vadodara - Lehri Pura Darwaja a market that focuses on traditional artifacts. 

Nakul Makker, owner of Swati Furniture based in Visharam Marg, Ahmadabad said ?We get a lot of customers who always ask us about our website as nowadays the customers expect us to put our catalogue online. We have been thinking about making one but we did not know how to go about it. With Google offering to set up a website for us, our business is now accessible online to anyone and everyone in Ahmadabad. A website today is like a mobile phone, as a business you need to invest in one and grow your business. With our website we can also look at expanding our customer base which is not limited to Ahmedabad.? 

In addition to this initiative, Google will host several workshops through its 200 Google partners in Gujarat, who will provide local support to SMEs and help them to get online and grow their business through online marketing. The campaign will also be supported by an aggressive marketing campaign that will focus on improving the awareness on the benefits of Internet for small medium businesses.

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