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SMBs Adopting New Digital Technologies Faster: Google India

On the marketing front, the Internet behemoth’s smart campaigns help SMBs create ads and drive results. Smart campaigns are currently available in regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

By Krishna SinhaChaudhury

The small and medium businesses (SMBs) sector which contributes nearly 37 per cent of India’s GDP, is fast adopting new digital technologies to stay up-to-date in the race, according to a top Google India executive.

SMBs can potentially contribute a lot more if they can expand their area of influence and grow their businesses faster, according to a recent KPMG India and Google report on “Impact of Internet and Digitisation on SMBs in India”.

“SMBs in India want to both learn and grow. More than a million businesses have actually setup their websites through Google Business,” said Shalini Girish-Director, Google Customer Solutions, India.

“There are over 26 million listings that have been setup by businesses. There are about 58.5 million SMBs in India and 45 per cent of them have a presence on Google Maps and Google Search. The adoption is improving no doubt but there are still millions of businesses that need to come online. We’re continuing our efforts on that,” Girish told IANS.

The free offering for SMBs to list on Search and Maps is called “Google My Business” that makes it easy for businesses to be discoverable by customers.

Google India has also been working to digitally empower India’s SMBs for the past two years, essentially by providing them marketing solutions through which they can reach out to global audience, without being location-agnostic with minimum or no monetary investments.

The Internet giant currently provides solutions for both conventional and age-old businesses to new-age start-ups.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

For Indian startups, it offer mentorship through a launchpad accelerator programme.

The three-month mentorship covers all aspects of product design, business models, product credits and technology support to build for scale and go to market strategies. At least 50 Indian start-ups have benefitted from the programme till date.

“We’re happy to see there’s been a lot of traction (from the medium and small enterprises or MSMEs). We’re committed for the next several years to invest in the country, people and its business communities because there’s still a lot more we can do,” said Girish.

The company rolled out a free tool called “Google Market Finder” last year for the Indian businesses, which helps them overcome barriers when they want to expand internationally.

Also Read: Software Giant Microsoft Adds New OneDrive Consumer Storage Plans

The tool essentially helps businesses identify and evaluate new markets by using Google Search trends data by capturing the volume and also indicates the level of competitive activity in the region.

On the marketing front, the Internet behemoth’s smart campaigns help SMBs create ads and drive results. Smart campaigns are currently available in regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.

Marathi and other Indian languages would follow soon, said the company. (IANS)

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Facebook Partners VC Funds to Help SMBs Grow in India: Report

Facebook is home to more than 90 million small businesses globally

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FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

With an aim to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) scale up their operations, Facebook on Wednesday announced partnerships with venture capital (VC) funds in the country.

The “VC Brand Incubator” will be the first in a series of programmes by Facebook to provide SMBs with timely skilling and guidance.

For the first edition of the programme, Facebook worked with Sauce.vc, a Mumbai-based early-stage venture capital fund that has partnered with startups in the food and beverages, personal care, apparel and the lifestyle space.

“With the ‘VC Brand Incubator’ programme, we hope to unlock the potential of SMBs in India, enabling them to enhance theirs as well as the country’s socio-economic growth,” said Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India.

“Working with VC funds is crucial as it allows us to scale and support SMBs at an early-stage itself, fast-tracking their growth,” Vohra added.

Facebook will work with VC funds to skill and mentor the SMBs by sharing insights on best practices, proven solutions, playbooks, vertical-insights among other key learnings.

“The programme provides a much-needed understanding of Facebook, its family of Apps, and the digital landscape. As a consumer-focused investor, we look for social marketing expertise in teams that we back as it is a huge driver of success for small startups that have to optimize every rupee spent,” informed Manu Chandra, Founder, Sauce.vc.

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FILE – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

India is home to one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world, and venture capital funds are an integral part of this network.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to facilitate the setting up of 50,000 new startups in India by 2024. The central government would also create a ‘Seed Startup Fund’ of Rs 20,000 crore.

According to IT industry’s apex body Nasscom, India added 1,200 new technology startups in 2018. There are now about 7,700 tech startups in the country, making it the third largest in the world, the report said last year.

The “VC Brand Incubator” programme is a series of events that woild be held across Mumbai, Bengaluru and other key cities.

Also Read: Safeguarding Government Customers’ Data Topmost Priority: Samsung

The first programme was held last month in collaboration with Sauce.vc and saw participation from 25 brands of which five were women-led businesses.

Facebook recently announced an investment in Meesho, a social commerce company empowering first-time entrepreneurs, especially women, across Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns in India.

Facebook is home to more than 90 million small businesses globally. (IANS)