Google’s digital initiatives have helped Indian SMBs to make their mark in various fields of business. To recognise their remarkable success, Google has awarded some top achievers as ‘SMB Heroes’…

NEW DELHI, JULY 26, 2017: Google India announced the national winners of ‘SMB Heroes 2017‘, an initiative aimed at recognising businesses that have used technology for the growth of their businesses. The winners are — Farida Gupta who runs her own business portal for ‘business impact through digital’, Care NX owners Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni for ‘impacting change through digital’, and online retailer Buttercups Founder Arpita Ganesh for ‘woman business leader’ category.

Google CEO Sunder Pichai earlier this year launched the Digital Unlocked programme which provides online, offline and mobile trainings to assist and empower Indian SMBs to grow digital.

Google Vice-President (India and South-East Asia) Rajan Anandan said: “India’s incredible story of internet adoption continues to have a transformational impact on how people are consuming information, finding new businesses and connecting with one another. However, India’s 51 million strong small and medium business (SMB) community is not yet there where they should be. At Google, we are committed to removing the barriers to adoption and providing small business with the training and tools they need to accelerate their growth.”

Today, India is the second largest Internet user market. 400 million Indians are using Internet and by 2020, 650 million Indians will use the Internet. Google has focused on SMB ecosystem. India has 51 million SMBs and contribute to 37% to India’s GDP. The SMBs provides employment to 120 million people. But the irony is only 32% SMBs has a web presence. There are various barriers to it like, lack of awareness among people and capability, he added.

“To address these barriers, Google has deeply invested in making sure that these barriers can be removed. Google had launched first step of initiative, the Digital Unlocked program which provides online, offline and mobile trainings to empower Indian SMBs to grow digital,” Mr. Anandan said.

The offline training has been conducted in partnership with FICCI, which has trained 20,000 businesses and 50,000 individuals. The other set of initiatives are training, tools and recognition which helps small businesses to get trained and get online recognition.

Google Asia Pacific Managing Director (Marketing Solutions) Kevin O’Kane said: “SMBs are the backbone of India which nearly contributes to 37% GDP. Going digital can help in accelerating economic growth and Internet technology is the key facilitator in India’s SMB growth. Google’s mission is empowering education to next generation and to create growth in Indian SMBs.”

Earlier this year, Google had launched Primer, a free mobile App to teach digital marketing skills in an easy and interactive way. Websites with Google My business is a free tool launched by Google in March this year, for SMBs to create free, mobile optimized websites. The websites build in 10 languages. Around 160,000 Indian businesses are already using websites made with Google My Business.

Commenting on Farida Gupta being awarded for her online business initiative, her son Rohit Gupta said going fully digital has seen their revenue registering a 400% jump in a year. “Our business is growing fast. We are now catering to 25 cities and by the end of this year we have also planned to launch global website through which we will cater to other countries also,” he added.

Arpita Ganesh of Buttercups said: “I have been using digital mode from last three years but after this Google’s initiative, my brand has got recognition among people. The revenue has also increased 13 times. Platform like this helps SMBs to grow and expand.”

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