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Google's Business Online Offer For SMBs

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Google India's challenge — to set up in ‘15 minutes' a free functional website for each of the 76 lakh Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) in the country.

In India, only about four lakh small and medium businesses (SMBs) have a website, out of an estimated 80 lakh SMBs. The initiative is designed to bridge the information gap that exists online due to the lack of local Indian businesses on the Internet.

SMBs in India often believe that getting online is too complex, costly and time-consuming; this perception prevents many SMBs from taking the first step towards building an online presence. But Google India is confident that it will be able to change the perception. "We have received tremendous response to this initiative in other countries," says Nikesh Arora, Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer, Google Inc.

This huge potential business is expected to be tapped by a nationwide initiative from Google India — ‘India Get Your Business Online'— that offers a free website, personalized domain and hosting.  The domain is free for one year.

Its immediate target is to capture five lakh SMBs to get them online in next three years through this programme. Google India will work with web hosting provider HostGator in this initiative. V.K. Agarwal, President, Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) said: "It is going to be a game changer." FISME with its network of 730 MSME associations will help the Indian Small businesses to make the most of this opportunity and benefit from this program.

Encouraging the SMBs to adopt the online medium to expand their business, Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister for Rural Development said: "SMEs are the future business leaders of India," and for them to grow to become recognized Indian brands globally, presence on the Internet is absolutely essential.

Dinesh Agarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMART.com, welcomed the Google initiative saying it will certainly help in bringing more and more SMEs to test online shores and benefit from it. In addition, it will further build credibility of internet among them.

He said this will enable SMEs to look beyond the traditional geographical boundaries of their local market, city, region or country. Even with paid options, these are still much more cost effective than traditional routes. Such initiatives will eventually build a stronger SME ecosystem.












THE ONLINE MOVE


  • Free: It's free to set up your website. The domain is free for 1 year, and it's free to maintain your website for 12 months.

  • Quick: The website tool takes 15 minutes from sitting down to being found online

  • Easy: You don't need to be a tech whiz to get started. All you need to start is your address, phone number, TAN/CIN or PAN to verify you as a business

  • The website is simple because customers are looking for simple information online

  • If you want to make your website work harder, you'll have access to steady stream of free tips and tools from the Getting Indian Business Online team and a free coupon of worth Rs. 2500 INR advertising trial from Google AdWords to help promote your site.

  • Gives you your own .in domain

  • You get a Google Apps account - free personalized email ids

  • Other features include photos/logos, integration with social media platforms

  • After the first year, SMBs can choose to pay a monthly pay-as-you-go to maintain their website using HostGator.

  • At the end of the first year, they'll have to pay a nominal charge if they wish to renew their domain name.  They can cancel their website at any time.



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