Google India has reaffirmed its commitment to digitally empower India’s small and medium businesses. As part of its Digital Unlocked campaign, Google announced the national winners of SMB Heroes 2017, an initiative aimed at recognising businesses that have embraced technology to power their growth.
The three businesses that emerged as national winners under each of the categories are: Farida Gupta for Business Impact Through Digital, Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni for Impacting Change Through Digital and Arpita Ganesh for Woman Business Leader. These businesses have excelled in innovative use of technology and have leveraged it to address challenges and grow their businesses.
Earlier this year, Google and KPMG had conducted a joint study, "Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India". As per the report, SMBs cited a lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills as the essential reasons for being offline.
Recognizing the need to address these gaps, Google unveiled its Digital Unlocked program earlier this year. As part of this program, Google is providing online, offline and mobile trainings to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills. The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and in the last six months, over 500,000 individuals have engaged with the skilling platform and 20,000 businesses have been trained.
In addition, Google launched Primer, a free mobile app designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. In the last few months, Primer has been downloaded over two million times.
Google also launched 'Websites with Google My Business', a free tool for SMBs to create free, mobile optimised websites, easily and instantly. Through this new feature, businesses get access to templated, editable websites using their already existing data on Google My Business. With Websites with Google My Business SMBs can automatically build websites in 10 languages - Tamil, English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam. 160,000 Indian businesses are already using Websites with Google My Business and finding newer ways to connect with consumers.