This is big news for Indian small and medium enterprises, Google India is launching a nation wide initiative that offers them a chance to get online with a free website, personalized domain and hosting.
What Is The Offer All About?
This initiative by Google is termed- ‘India Get Your Business Online.’ As it is pretty clear from the name itself, Google wants to break through the barriers stopping small businesses from getting their services and products online. The search engine giant is offering them a quick, easy and free tool to set up and host a website. The program is to run through a period of three years, and Google India aims to get more than 500,000 small and medium businesses online.
How Will It Work?
The businesses need an address, a phone number and TAN/CIN or PAN verification to take their businesses online. The participating businesses will be given a free email addresses through Google Apps and a free Google AdWords coupon worth $51 that amounts to Rs 2500, as a start up amount for advertising their sites on Google.
Google has taken up this program in collaboration with web hosting provider HostGator. This is the process that the business owners need to follow:
- Log on to www.indiagetonline.in to get to the free tool
- The tool is empowered to help users get a free, easy-to-build website and web hosting (This will be powered by HostGator for a whole year.)
- Business owners will be getting a customized domain too (.in) along with tools, training and resources to help them run their online businesses successfully.
There are 90 ready made design templates for an SMB to choose from. The Google view on the program was given out by Nikesh Arora SVP & Chief Business Officer of Google Inc, “Google has always believed in the power of the Internet to help small businesses thrive and to make people's lives easier by making information more accessible and useful. We recognise India as a high growth and high potential Internet market in the world and we’re committed to play the role of a catalyst to bring the benefits of the internet economy to small and medium businesses in India. We have received tremendous response to this initiative in other countries and we’re very excited to bring this initiative to India and empower local businesses as more and more Indian users get online.”
This initiative by Google is supported by HostGator as they will also offer free support and guidance to the business owners for the creation, hosting and management of the sites. They will do this for free for a year.
Taylor Hawes, Marketing head of HostGator.com has been quoted, “SMEs form a very substantial part of our global customer base and we are committed to offer world class service to Indian SMEs. With Google, we have the perfect partner and we are very excited about the opportunity this represents for small and medium businesses in India. We will do our best to help out business in India build their online presence and also offer 24/7 support through our call center.”
Once the year long period of free hosting expires, the site owners can then renew their domain name and hosting on a paid basis or cancel the service.
The Present Scenario Of Indian Businesses:
There are around 8 million SMEs in India and of these only 400,000 have their own websites. Google's move will push the Indian businesses on the Internet, by offering free services to encourage businesses to sign up for the program. The general perception of Indian SME owners about going online is something that is unprofitable-complex- costly and time taking.
Google aims to change this line of thought with their India Get Your Business Online program. Other supporters of this initiative are: Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises or FISME and banking major ICICI.
Will this initiative be welcomed by Indian SMEs? Do share your views below.