Facebook not limiting itself to digital access to SMBs but also helping with credit access: Ajit Mohan

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November 09, 2021 1:27 PM

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: On Tuesday, Facebook also launched two new resources for small businesses – Grow Your Business Hub and Grow Your Business Playbook.

In August this year, the company had launched Small Business Loans initiative for small businesses in the country that advertise on Facebook to get credit through third-party lenders. (Image: Pexels.com)

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: Facebook isn’t limiting its role to offering digital access to small businesses in India but also helping them address issues such as lack of credit access, said Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India. Speaking at the company’s first Grow Your Business Summit to highlight solutions available for small businesses to grow online, Mohan said, “At Facebook, we believe in giving businesses of all sizes equal opportunities to grow…We are not just limiting our role to providing digital access but also looking to solve challenges small businesses face with an India-first approach. For example, we know that lack of timely access to credit can hamper the growth of many small businesses.” 

Facebook had last year announced a grant of Rs 32 crore for over 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. In August this year, the company had launched Small Business Loans initiative for small businesses in the country that advertise on Facebook to get credit through third-party lenders. “India is the first country in Facebook globally where a programme of this nature has been launched,” said Mohan. Currently, there are over 430 million people who use Facebook in India every month. The company’s business page is available free of cost to all businesses that serve as a virtual storefront to help them connect with their potential customers.

“Facebook journey started when our journey started. The first campaign we did was just for Rs 10,000 and it helped us test, experiment, and try out different creatives, segmentation and scale. That’s the beauty of the Facebook platform because you can start small, experiment, and build profitable venture in the early days,” said Aarti Gill, Co-founder and CEO of plant-based nutrition brand Oziva at the virtual event.

Also read: Interview | MSMEs can look at passing on rising input costs to consumers: Assocham President

“When we started, we started posting on different Facebook groups. That was an organic traffic that was driving in and we weren’t spending anything. First, we understood the audience very well through Facebook groups and we applied similar knowledge to Facebook advertisements that were super easy to run. I didn’t have to hire a marketing team. Facebook was the only platform we used in the first year of our journey,” said Sonakshi Nathani, Co-founder, Bikayi. 

On Tuesday, Facebook also launched two new resources for small businesses – Grow Your Business Hub and Grow Your Business Playbook. The Hub is a one-stop shop for businesses to find relevant information, tools, and resources curated to cater to the business goals and mapped to the business’s growth journey. The two resources are in addition to what’s already available for small businesses to learn and grow. 

“Whether you are an early advertiser looking to jumpstart your business by learning the Facebook basics or if you are an advanced advertiser looking for customised business support from business skilling and life training to dedicated support, we have brought it all under one umbrella. You don’t have to spend a minute looking for information. We aim to grow the Hub as a support destination for all SMBs in India,” said Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Business, Facebook India.

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On the other hand, the Playbook would help early-stage businesses start their journey on Facebook apps. “It will be Facebook India’s first published book and everything small businesses need to know about right from starting a page, creating content on that page to the first step they need to start advertising. The book features a wide array of creative guidance from best practices on how to choose profile pictures to creating the first post. The Playbook’s first edition is aimed at helping businesses setup their offline to online journeys and accelerating online sales during the covid era,” added Vohra. The Playbook is an eight-week workbook to get creative on Facebook and Instagram. 

The market opportunity in digitising Indian MSMEs is massive. According to a Zinnov report titled Digital SMBs — Key Pillar of India’s Economy last year, from an estimated $30 billion in 2019, the market opportunity rising from digital technology adoption among MSMEs will grow at around 25 per cent CAGR to around $85 billion in 2024.

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