Google India Announces Launch Of SMB Heroes Programme


New Delhi: After launching ‘Digital Unlocked’, a training programme to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) go digital, Google India on Thursday announced the launch of ‘SMB Heroes’, a nation-wide programme designed to recognise SMBs that have embraced digital platform to grow their business.

A nation-wide programme ‘SMB Heroes’ will comprise three categories — Business Innovation through Digital, Impacting Change through Digital and Woman Business Leader, Kevin O’Kane, Managing Director, Google Marketing Solutions- Asia Pacific, told reporters here. Google today launched ‘Digital Unlocked’ programme here. Since its launch in January this year, Google has hosted ‘Digital Unlocked’ workshops in five cities across the country and trained over 4,000 businesses across the offline and online training.

Starting today businesses from across the country can submit their nominations on the SMB Heroes website The last date for entries is April 24. “One winner from each category will be shortlisted for five major zones, culminating in a national final in Delhi later this year,” Kevin said.

Citing a joint research study by Google-KPMG, Google (India and South-East Asia) Vice President Rajan Anandan, said, 68 per cent of the 51 million Indian SMBs are offline.
“A large number 35 per cent of small businesses are not aware of the benefits and 31 per cent cited lack of technical skills for the reasons that they are not on internet. At Google we want to address these barriers,” Rajan said.

“We will be investing heavily in helping SMBs to benefit from digital technology,” he said. SMBs contribute 37 per cent to India?s GDP and employ 120 million people. Today, there are only 32 per cent of small businesses in India that have any sort of web presence, said Rajan.
Digital Unlocked, will empower SMBs with essential digital skills to help them get online and start using the internet to grow their business. The programme is built across the different formats of online, offline and mobile. “The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities,” Rajan said.

Quoting the report, he said rising Internet penetration and greater uptake for digital by SMBs could help increase their contribution to India’s GDP by 10 percentage points, taking it up to 46-48 per cent by 2020. “SMBs that leverage digital platform grow revenues fast compared to offline SMBs,” he added.