Tag Archives: SMB

Google for India 2020: Writing the next chapter of our efforts in India

At our very first Google for India in 2015, we outlined our vision to help the widest number of Indians have access to the Internet — and make it relevant and useful for every one of them. Back then, connectivity, data and device affordability were major issues. And we were only just beginning to see more Indian-language users come online. 

To help with the digital transformation of a country as large and diverse as India, we needed to make fundamental changes to how we approached our product development. We looked at where we needed to create products that worked offline, we honed our capabilities to design and build for India, and we invested in partnering deeply with the government and industry to overcome these challenges. 

We made India central to our Next Billion Users initiative - intended to level the playing field and make the internet useful for people coming online for the first time. Through Android, we worked to make high quality devices more affordable, enabled Indian language support both across GBoard and Google Assistant, and introduced offline capability in products like YouTube and Maps. 

We built on this by launching India-first products such as Google Pay (launched as Tez), Files by Google and Bolo (now Read Along), plus features such as lite modes in Search and Chrome and  two-wheeler mode on Google Maps. These efforts resonated with users not just in India but globally.

To help address the digital gender divide in the country, we also invested in programs like Internet Saathi and Digital Unlocked. These efforts have helped us better understand Indians’ needs, and we are continuing to address those needs by investing in high quality technical and engineering talent in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Last year, we announced the launch of Google Research India -- our AI research lab -- to further our work in partnership with Indian academics and developers, tackling challenges in areas like healthcare, agriculture and more. 

Google for India: The next chapter
Fast forward to today. In 2020, India’s digital landscape has completely transformed. Fundamental roadblocks like network infrastructure and affordable data plans are no longer as much of an impediment as before. India’s fast-growing developer and startup ecosystem is strongly established and focused on building solutions that meet India’s needs. India’s technological firsts — such as Unified Payments Interface for real time digital payments — are setting global benchmarks. Today, we’re much closer to the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India vision.

At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated broader technological shifts, and digital tools have become a lifeline for many during this crisis. Consumers and businesses are rapidly adapting to doing more online and SMBs, schools, large companies and governments are all under intense pressure to digitize. While this transition will be challenging — intimidating, even — it is also an incredible opportunity to build India-first technology and services that can reach all Indians and help all parts of the Indian economy. 

Today, to help unlock this opportunity, we are deepening our commitment to India’s next chapter as a digital economy. Google will invest INR 75,000 crores (approximately US$10 billion) to advance India’s digitisation over the coming 5-7 years, with a new Google for India Digitisation Fund. We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, operations, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. We will focus on four areas that are important for India’s digitization. First, enabling affordable access to the internet and to information for every Indian, in their own language. Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs including consumer tech, education, health and agriculture. Third, empowering businesses of all sizes, especially SMBs, as they continue or embark on their digital transformation. Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good, including digital literacy, outbreak predictions, and support for rural economies. 

This investment is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy. Our goal is to realise the mission of making the internet helpful for 1.3 billion Indians, and help power the country’s economic engine.  

We are deeply inspired by India’s nation-building ambition, intellectual capital and spirit of enterprise. We look forward to being India’s committed partner in this journey — and to seeing India become the home of many global firsts in the coming years. 

Continuing our Covid-19 Response efforts 
As we look ahead to the first investments under the Digitization Fund, we’re pressing on with our efforts to support India’s recovery from COVID-19—in particular, through programs to support education and small businesses.  

Supporting education  
When the pandemic restricted mobility across the country, we enabled free access to the premium features of tools like Google Meet, as well as sharing free education tools like Google Classroom. The results have been heartening, including at schools like Podar, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Nehru World and GD Goenka.

To build on this early progress, we’re proud to announce a new partnership with CBSE, Skill Education and Training. By the end of 2020, we will enable over 1 million teachers in 22,000 schools across India to deliver blended learning that combines the classroom approach with online learning, using free tools like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, YouTube and more. 

Recognising that it’s more important than ever to ensure education is inclusive, especially for lower-income households, we are also announcing a new grant of $1M USD to Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) from Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm, as part of the Global Distance Learning Fund. Using these funds, KEF will work with the Central Square Foundation and TeacherApp to train 700,000 teachers to deliver virtual education for vulnerable students so that they can continue learning at home. Where families don’t have access to the internet or a smartphone, other channels including TV and radio will be used to reach these children.

Backing small businesses
Our other priority is ensuring that small businesses have the resources and support they need. 

We’ve launched the Grow with Google Small Business hub in India: a single destination where businesses can access digital tools to maintain business continuity, find resources like quick help videos, and learn digital skills--in both English and in Hindi. And we’re partnering with Prasar Bharati to launch an edutainment series across its network, designed to help business owners adapt to the evolving challenges of COVID-19 with online tools, learn from other companies, and plan for the long-term future. 

The pandemic has upended life as we knew it, and the recovery is only just underway. As we put these new programs in place, we’ll keep exploring new opportunities to support families, communities and small businesses so they can get through and emerge stronger. 

We’re looking forward to continuing the work of building a more inclusive and accessible internet for all Indians, and powering an internet economy that can shape India’s prosperity, beyond COVID-19 and long into the future.  

Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Country Head & Vice President, Google India, and Caesar Sengupta, GM & VP of Payments and Next Billion Users at Google

Welcome to Toronto’s #DigitalMainStreet

Toronto’s well-known neighbourhoods are teeming with energy and life, boasting an eclectic mix of shopping, culture and food that have put the city on the map. And, as the digital world changes the way consumers make decisions and purchases, the city’s businesses are adapting to optimize the potential of going online. This transition, however, poses a challenge for many small enterprises as they often aren’t sure how to get started.

That’s why we have partnered with the City of Toronto to launch Digital Main Street, a program that will help 40,000 Toronto businesses adopt the digital tools and technologies to help them grow.  Digital Main Street is a platform that is free for main street businesses to join, helping them navigate the often confusing and overwhelming online universe by acting as a guide to all things digital.

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 9.55.35 AM.png

Over the next few months we’ll be working with the city to offer programming that will help businesses amplify their online presence and reach more consumers from Canada and around the world. In fact, we started earlier this month with BIAcadamy, hosting 47 business improvement areas (BIA) at Google Canada and providing training so they can help businesses in their neighbourhoods get online and grow globally with Google tools, like Adwords, AdWords Express and Google My Business.

Last year, over half of the trillions of Google searches conducted globally happened on smartphones, and critical to the success of Toronto’s main street businesses will be capitalizing on this move to mobile.  As part of the Digital Main Street program, we’re arming Toronto businesses with digital tools that will help them get in front of potential customers during key moments when they are searching for products and services close to home. Canadian search interest in “near me” has increased by 400% year-over-year. We know that these searches lead to sales. In fact, 74% of shopping conversions occur within one hour of the initial search.1 There’s unlimited potential for small businesses to take advantage of mobile tools to be present during these moments.

As a former startup ourselves, Google has a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. We’re proud to be part of the Digital Main Street team and look forward to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and helping our businesses grow.

Posted by Sam Sebastian, Managing Director, Google Canada

1 Google Canada Nielsen Mobile Search Moments, 2016

The web is a growth engine for Canadian businesses

Canadians are constantly connected. Whether we’re streaming a new playlist, sharing a photo with family, or checking in with friends, the web plays an integral role in our daily lives. With a multicultural population and a culture that encourages Canadians to embrace their global connections, we also have the right conditions in place for our businesses to grow beyond our geographic borders.
For Canadian businesses, the web is a powerful tool to reach potential customers both at home and abroad. Thanks to the Internet and the emergence of new business platforms, even the smallest company can now adopt and afford technology that would have been the envy of a large corporation 15 years ago. More and more, the evidence shows that the Internet will contribute a growing share of Canada’s economic growth and that businesses that embrace online tools do better.

Take Manitobah Mukluks for example, an Aboriginal-owned company that’s been selling its traditional mukluks and moccasins in Canada for more than 15 years. In 2012, it began experimenting with online marketing through Google AdWords and launched an e-commerce site using Shopify to broaden its reach. Today, Manitobah Mukluks sells to over 45 countries through its online store and over one third of website visits come from abroad.
Rosa at Manitobah Mukluks shows off her finished product

Currently in Canada, one in 10 small businesses are exporters, but many more businesses could use the web to reach a wider pool of customers and markets.

That’s why today we’re launching a Canadian Export Map to help raise awareness of the export opportunities available to our home-grown businesses. Available at g.co/exportcanada, this map compiles data from the top 10 export countries for Canadian businesses to help them market their goods and services more effectively. The map includes the most important holidays and events in each country and insights into the web and mobile usage in each market. Our export site also shares stories of Canadian businesses, including Vancouver Film School, Manitobah Mukluks, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK, that have successfully expanded their customer base to global markets using the web.

A sample page from the new Google Canada Export Map, available at g.co/exportcanada

“Toronto’s entrepreneurs are truly global - they are exporting to markets all over the world and that’s why we are helping to secure market access for their goods and services,” said Minister of State Maxime Bernier. “Our government is opening the European and South Korean markets and we will continue to give Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises a priority on trade missions abroad.”

“Toronto has become a global leader in technology development, and as mayor, I am committed to growing the industry, which provides jobs of the future. Companies like Google Canada choose to locate themselves in Toronto because of our diverse and talented workforce, and today, we are seeing the expansion of an exciting new program that will help businesses market themselves internationally,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “As one of North America’s great cities, I want Toronto to lead from the front of the pack as a future-ready and globally integrated city.”

A recent study from Boston Consulting revealed that small businesses that embrace the web are almost 50 per cent more likely to sell their products and services outside their region. All kinds of businesses, from the largest e-commerce sites to the smallest local businesses, are using the web to power their sales to markets around the world. Today, every business can be a digital business that takes advantage of the 2.5 billion consumers online.

At Google Canada, we’re working to help small businesses to make the most of the digital single market opportunity. And we can’t wait to see how Canadian businesses make the web work for them, and where their export journey takes them.

Posted by Sam Sebastian, Country Manager, Google Canada

Introducing Google Partners: Connecting small businesses with trusted partners

Every business should have the help it needs to succeed on the web. Every day, agencies and web professionals work with businesses big and small to bring us closer to that reality.

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Google Partners. Our vision is simple – build true champions of the web and support them with the resources, training and support to help businesses succeed online.

Inspired by your feedback, we created Google Partners around three objectives. We’re here to help you:

  • Connect more closely with Google. With access to special events, training and the latest research and product updates, Partners stay ahead of the curve by working directly with Google.
  • Demonstrate credibility. The new Google Partner badge recognizes companies that excel with Google’s products. Their businesses are healthy, their customers are happy, and they use Google best practices.
  • Grow your business. Partners who’ve earned the badge are listed on Google Partner Search and get a direct connection to potential clients.

We’ve brought our existing programs together under this new platform, so you can find all the resources you need in one place: an easy path to certification via free Google exams, more access to Google experts and agency peers through the Partners community, and sales and marketing toolkits.

We’d love to have you and your agency join us for the Partners launch live stream today, Wednesday, October 2nd, at 9 am PDT. We'll take you behind the scenes of the new Google Partners program, give you a sneak peek into some new features and host thought leaders Dan Pink and Mitch Joel. See the full agenda here and watch the live stream at www.youtube.com/googlepartners   

To join Google Partners, please visit www.google.com/partners

Posted by the Google Partners Team


Google Partners is coming soon to other markets

Today we announced the launch of Google Partners in the United States. Partners is our new and improved program for agencies and online marketing professionals.

While the full functionality of Partners is not yet available outside the US, Canada, and Poland, today users worldwide can get early access to the all-new (and free) AdWords certification experience on Partners. For the first time ever, getting certified in AdWords is free of charge (formerly $50 USD per exam) and mobile-friendly. The new certification experience on Partners will completely replace the Google Certification Program on Nov. 13.

To get a sneak preview of the new program before the worldwide launch of Partners, sign up at google.com/partners.