Sensing phenomenal growth potential e-commerce businesses hold in India, search engine giant Google has decided to bring in 20 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India online by 2017 through its mobile app, Google My Business (GMB), according to Google's top executive.
The GMB app will help SMBs create and manage their business information online across Google in English and Hindi for free, without having to invest in a website or a domain.
"In the next three years, India will have over 500 million internet users, who will search for information, including local businesses. The search experience for local business in India is broken today and we want to help connect businesses and customers," Google South East Asia and India VP and Managing Director Rajan Anandan told ET Retail.
He added that through its new GMB initiative, Google aims to help 20 million SMBs in the country get their information online by 2017.
"GMB is our first mobile-based product initiative for SMBs and we have seen huge uptake of it. In the last five months of the pilot phase, over a million SMBs have already signed on.
We are engaging with 25,000 new SMBs every week," he said.
Previously, the US-based firm had launched its India Get Your Business Online' programme to provide website, internet domain and web hosting services to SMBs in the country. It helped about half a million such entities set up an online presence under the initiative.
"Over six million new internet users are coming online every month. Indian users are increasingly looking for information about businesses online. There is a massive information gap for local businesses on the internet today," he said.
Citing statistics Anandan said that of the total 51 million SMEs in India, less than 5-6% have an online presence and added that with the GMB App, Google aims to bridge this gap.