Google CEO Sundar Pichai announces Digital Unlocked to help SMEs go online
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google announced the launch of Digital Unlocked Skill Programme, a training programme to empower SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) with essential digital skills. The programme will enable SMBs to get online and start using the power of the internet to grow their business.
Sundar Pichai said,
“When I was growing up in Chennai information was scarce. But now that has changed, thanks to the Internet.The Internet is a powerful equaliser and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible. Building for everyone and making it available in the hands of as many people is at the heart and core of what we do. And we do this by investing in open ecosystems.”
With Digital Unlocked Programme, Google plans to ensure that small business in India that wants to go digital has access to quality training. In keeping with the varied learning needs of the millions of businesses in India, they have built this programme across online, offline, and mobile modes.
India’s Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present at the Google event. Prasad urged Google to also look into the issue of cyber-security and strengthen that areas well.
SMEs will need to register on the Digital Unlocked website. Google had a workshop going on for businesses at the event itself and plans to certify 100 businesses by end of the day.
Google also previewed My Business Websites, an easy-to-use offering to help businesses to have a rich, mobile optimised digital presence that will be launched later this year.
It will ensure SMEs are listed on Google, even if they don’t always have their own websites. Google says 40,000 SMEs are listed on the search engine already. It will also help businesses to create their own mobile ready website, based on the data in the listing.
“Small businesses online have significantly larger market share outside their cities. SMBs that go digital end up employing more people than those that ignore online,”
said Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director of Google South East Asia, explained. He said contribution of SMEs to India’s GDP can grow by 10 per cent based on KPMG-Google study. He added that Google is committed to bringing every single business online in India.
My Business Websites will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
The search giant has planned 5000 workshops in 40 cities across India. There will be an app as well, called Primer, available on iOS and Android in Hindi and English. Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions are being developed. The free app works offline and will allow business owners to try out advanced and basic courses for going digital on the go.