Additionally, Google launches nationwide campaign #makesmallstrong to rally consumer support and drive demand for small businesses
Building on its effort to help consumers discover small businesses on Google search and maps, Google India has partnered with Zoho and Instamojo to help small and medium businesses build digital presence. Further, the tech giant has also entered into a partnership with Dunzo and Swiggy to fast track the on-boarding process, with both partners committing to provide additional support to small businesses to start accepting orders online and enable delivery logistics.
Today, the need to go digital is a necessity and SMBs are hard-pressed to digitize fast, Shalini Girish, customer solutions director, Google India, said. “The needs of small businesses differ across the country and we are partnering with the Industry leaders to offer more support to help small businesses go digital. The most pressing need though is on the consumer demand side, and to aid that we have launched a nation-wide campaign ‘Make Small Strong’ #makesmallstrong to rally support from the citizens to support small businesses by buying locally, leaving reviews and ratings and promoting their favourite retailers on social media to help generate demand for these businesses,” she added.
In addition to providing support to go digital, Google India is also investing in efforts to scale its outreach to help small businesses learn to use digital tools in local Indian languages. As part of this effort, Google has worked closely with FICCI to drive an industry wide skilling program which has already trained 1.2 million individuals. Furthermore, Google will be launching a new show in partnership with Doordarshan called Namaste Digital, serving as a mass media program for SMBs to learn about the Internet and help them grow their business.
The new initiative builds on the “Grow with Google Small Business hub” effort, and is in direct response to the feedback received from small medium businesses captured in the Google-Kantar small business tracker research conducted in July. According to the report, customer related challenges tops the list for small businesses, with 92% businesses facing customer related challenges, revenue loss due to low demand and payment of fixed costs are the other most severe challenges among businesses. The report also highlights that businesses are seeing the benefits of going digital, and today 5 out of 10 businesses are using digital channels to engage their customers compared to just 4 in 10 in April.
Under this partnership, Zoho has launched a new initiative, ‘Build your business online with Zoho’ where small businesses will be able to create business websites using Zoho Sites, manage their inventory with Zoho Inventory, and sell online through Zoho Commerce for free for three months. This initiative is available till March 31, 2021. “Our partnership with Google is a part of our continued efforts to help local businesses and communities get back on their feet and emerge stronger than before. Through the Grow with Google initiative, we are providing them with basic tools necessary for them to digitise their operations with ease. We will assist them with building awareness, onboarding, and implementation as well,” Anand Nergunam, SVP, revenue management and growth, Zoho Corp, stated.
For Akash Gehani, co-founder, Instamojo, small businesses are the backbone of Indian economy and a significant contributor to India’s GDP. “Instamojo currently serves over 1.3 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises across the country to Start, Manage and Grow their business online. Given the current circumstances, our mission is more important than ever to unlock the potential of digital and internet to startups and MSMEs in India,” he explained adding that the platform will be offering a 6-month free subscription to Instamojo’s Premium Online Store Solution to SME businesses till March 31, 2020.
“At Dunzo, we’re building for the growing digital adoption by Indian consumers. India already has a strong network of local merchants and we are enabling them to come online for the very first time and expand their footprints in ways that weren’t possible before. This collaboration with Grow with Google, helps us reach more local businesses and empower them with the best possible tools and resources to get started on their digital journey, with a helping hand along the way,” Kartik Mishra, head, strategy and new initiatives, Dunzo, said.
While SMBs can avail Dunzo’s 24×7 Merchant support for free with zero sign-up fees and instant registration, Swiggy is offering seven days ‘Fast track Onboarding’ for restaurants to come on the platform. “In sync with our larger goal to support the restaurant ecosystem through our Jumpstart program, we are looking forward to partnering with independent outlets through fast onboarding and enabling them to grow through this association,” Paul Varghese, VP supply, Swiggy, said.