Facebook India is expanding its investments in small businesses in the country with the first of many Small Business Boost events happening this year. Helping to advance the government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skills India’ vision, Facebook’s Small Business Boost program has been designed to arm Indian businesses with the knowledge, skills and technology required to stay innovative and connect with customers at home and abroad.
In support of the program, IT Minister of Telangana, K T Rama Rao will co-host and kick-off the first event in Hyderabad. Talking about the venture, he said, “In India there are more than 36 million SMEs, who provide employment to 80 million people and form the backbone of the Indian economy. As people spend more time plugged into their smart phones and on the Internet, these small businesses have a unique opportunity to capture new audiences, increase sales and grow by using social media. Facebook’s Small Business Boost events will serve as a resource for these businesses as experts and small business themselves offer training on best practices for growing a small business online.”
Ritesh Mehta, Head of Economic Growth Initiatives for Facebook India also commented, “There are 1.49 billion people on Facebook, which is half of the estimated three billion people who use the Internet worldwide. That s a compelling audience for a small business who is looking to find new customers, deepen relationships with existing customers and boost sales. More than 1.5 million small businesses in India are already using Facebook Pages to take advantage of this community to grow their customer reach.
“India is a priority market for Facebook and this program is just part of our continued investment in Indian small businesses, developers and 125 million Indians who use Facebook. We already contribute USD 4 billion and 335,000 jobs to India through our marketing, platform and connectivity efforts (2015 Deloitte report). These events will help provide small businesses with the technology and resources required to connect with new customers and generate sales in a measurable way.”
At these events, attendees will engage with a broad selection of small business peers and Facebook experts to learn and share their experiences of growing an online business in today s global economy. Hands-on training sessions will include how to effectively use mobile; reach international audiences; and boost your brand online. The small business panel will feature companies like Pelli Poola Jada, The Chocolate Heaven and Doctor C.
Kalpana Rajesh, founder of Pelli Poola Jada, an online wedding accessories retailer in India, said, “We started out in 2013 with three women making and selling bridal hair accessories. Three years later we now employ around 200 women across 36 branches. This success is all thanks to Facebook, without whose support, we would not have been able to grow our product line, customer base and revenues at such a rapid pace. For small businesses, there is nothing more powerful than being able to reach new customers at scale.”