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In India, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) contribute to 37 per cent of the country’s GDP, but still are far from getting recognition on global platforms for their unique ideas or growth strategies.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, too, is now embracing digitization with support from tech giants to ensure a steady growth.
Google India has taken a constructive initiative in this regard. Its “Digital Unlocked” campaign has trained over 5 lakh individuals, mostly owners of small businesses. Around 2 million SMBs are investing in Google’s Primer to upskill their processes.
The top global search engine reiterated its commitment to digitally empower Indian SMBs at one of its events in India on Wednesday.
“India currently has web presence in almost every field and, keeping up the tempo, Google is working hard to make digital adaptation a reality for SMBs,” said Rajan Anandan, Vice-president of Google India and South-East Asia, on the sidelines of the event.
Anandan added that “Digital Unlocked” is one of the series of programmes the technology giant has launched to help small firms tap the e-platform.
Google announced three national winners of SMB Heroes, 2017, in course of the event. While New Delhi-based women apparel brand Farida Gupta won the prize for Business Impact Through Digital, lingerie brand Buttercups’ founder Arpita Ganesh from Chennai won the prize for Women Business Leader.
CareNX, a Mumbai-based firm that provides healthcare solutions in cases of high-risk pregnancies, founded by Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni, won an award for Impacting Change Through Digital.
Entrepreneur India had a brief chat with the winners to know how Google had helped them step up their business processes via digitization.
Paid Tools Paid off
Farida Gupta Founder Sahil told the Entrepreneur India that a handful of amazing Google tools helped him build a strong visibility on the web. Elaborating, Sahil said Google Admin, Google Calendars, Google Analytics, Google Webmasters played a direct role in increasing the visibility of his brand online.
Noticing how some customers searches for business after spotting their ads on the Internet, Sahil took the help of ‘Google My Business’. He could spot the difference in very little time.
“In June 2017, over 8,127 people (8.7 per cent of our entire traffic) saw our business on Google. Over 451 people saw us on Google Maps, 138 people asked for directions to our office and 61 people searched for our phone number on Google and called us with the help of Google My Business,” said a cheerful Sahil.
Buttercups’ founder Ganesh realized that expanding a retail brand is a very hard job with high retail rents and big distribution margins.
“Going digital implied that I could reach out to customers in all geographies without any additional investment in the retail space or without dealing with distributors and save all margins for acquisition costs, instead,” explained Ganesh.
Apart from the amazing tools, Google also provides useful tutorials under its ‘Digital Unlocked’ campaign, said Ganesh and added these sessions helped them learn the usage of new tools in their businesses.
Buttercups saw a 200% growth in each of the past two years. “We have developed great insight into how to acquire customers and what they want. This has helped us optimize everything we do, from marketing, customer service to product development,” added Ganesh.
Tools for Health Care Job
Understanding the need to improve healthcare services in the rural areas, Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni started CareNx, an organization that reaches out to rural women from far off areas and connects them with doctors.
“In India, we have one gynaecologist to handle 2,000 pregnancy cases, but there are close to a million health-workers on the ground. We identified that digital is the only way to invite stakeholders and improve the rural health care,” said Shantanu Pathak.
Pathak told the Entrepreneur that his company was focused on providing healthcare solutions in places where there are no access points. “For us, Android is the best economical option to go ahead and cover all the remote areas in the country,” he stressed.
“Google Analytics, Google’s Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence tool TensorFlow, Google Maps added value to our business, increasing the company’s visibility on the internet,” he added.
The healthcare company witnessed an increase in consultation and interaction among health-workers, patients, and doctors after registering their digital presence through an Android application. It aims to reach 30,000 pregnant women in 800 villages by the end of this year.