Google seeks to lure small Indian businesses with new digital tools

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai (left) with executives of some small businesses at the Digital Unlocked event in Delhi

Google India has launched a training programme to enable small businesses to come online. Christened Digital Unlocked, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) can avail of offline training workshops, which will be conducted in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive announced today. Over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities.

The initiative also comprises an online training programme consisting of a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials, curated specifically for India and available for free. The tutorials cover a comprehensive set of topics ranging from building a web presence and driving online growth to reaching customers over mobile and video. These sessions are certified by Google, Indian School of Business (ISB) and FICCI.

“The Internet is a powerful equalizer and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible,” Pichai said during the launch of the programme at an event.

Besides Digital Unlocked, the Internet giant also launched My Business Websites, a tool to help SMBs develop their websites from a mobile device. The service will be launched later this year and will be available in multiple Indian languages.

Google also launched Primer, a free mobile app designed to teach marketing skills in an interactive way to SMEs. It is available for download through the Google Play store and the App Store, and would soon be available in Tamil, Telugu and Marathi, besides in Hindi and English.

Last year, Google had launched Google My Business, a programme aimed at helping small medium businesses get an online presence on Google Search and Google Maps, without having to invest in a website or domain. The program has over eight million Indian SMBs as its users.