Google unveils new initiatives to digitally empower SMBs

Google unveils new initiatives to digitally empower SMBs
Aimed at India’s small and medium business community, IT giant Google on Wednesday announced a number of initiatives including Digital Unlocked, a training programme and a new app Primer, to teach digital marketing skills to small businessmen.

Unveiling the programmes, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will work towards digitally empowering India’s 51-million strong small and medium business community. He unveiled Digital Unlocked, an educational programme, in association with industry body FICCI and Indian School of Business. This programme will offer mobile and online courses to help small businesses start their digital journey.

Under the programme, offline training is being conducted and over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities, he said in the presence of IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

The company also released a joint research study with KPMG titled ‘Impact of Internet and digitisation on small and medium businesses ( SMBs)’ and according to which 68% of the 51-million Indian SMBs are offline. “The lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills are the essential reasons for being offline,” he said.

Terming Google “as much an Indian company as American”, the IT Minister said it needs to play a larger role in the domestic market by tailoring its products and working more on cyber security. “Google is as much an Indian as American. The sheer extension which I would say... the manner in which people of India have accepted you... therefore, Google has as much obligation for India as you have for the US and the world,” Prasad said at the event.

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