Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday announced ‘Digital Unlocked’ courses in association with B-school ISB and FICCI. It is a training program for small and medium enterprises in India to help them acquire essential digital skills and use the power of internet toward expanding their business. The event also had other senior leaders like India’s Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Digital unlocked can be described as online training program constituting 90 training videos as well as an eight-hour classroom training program in association with FICCI. SMEs can go and register on the Digital Unlocked website. Google has also planned 5000 workshops in 40 cities across India. The event itself had a workshop by Google for businesses.
At this occasion, Sundar Pichai also launched a new website named “My Business”. It will help small enterprises in making their own websites within 10 minutes. These websites so created will be free of cost and could be easily optimized through mobiles. It will be available in 9 Indic languages.
Google CEO explained how India has 51 million small and medium businesses and their share to India’s GDP is around 37%. However, only 32% of them are online and well acquainted with digital means. Google India aims to strengthen the rest 68% by educating them about the digital world.
Apart from this Google plans to come up with an app called Primer (available on iOS and android), which for the time being will be available in Hindi and English. It will be a free app working offline containing advanced and basic courses on digital marketing.
This is not the first time that Google has taken such initiatives. It has been a consistent supporter of digital India. Last year, Google launched Google My Business, a program that helped a lot of SBMs to get an online presence on Google search and Google MAPS, even if they don’t have their own website or domain. Google claims to have 40,000 SMEs registered on their search engine.
Sunder Pichai took this opportunity to share some of his insights and described Internet as a powerful equalizer. He remarked “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.” Google is really motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible. “We have learned that when we solve for a place like India, we solve for everyone around the world” Pichai added.
While addressing media IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Google is as much an Indian company as American.” He asserted that at the moment India is going through a digital revolution and they want to become one of its leaders. In addition to this, he urged Google to look into the issue of cyber-security and strengthen these areas.
After demonetization, India’s digital economy has picked up a faster pace. In such settings, it makes more business sense for Google to have India-centric products. As outcome of these initiatives, contribution of SMEs to India’s GDP is expected to grow by 10 percent based on the KPMG-Google study.