Bullish on the SME sector in India, Google India has beefed up its AdWords platform with the launch of a new call center in Hyderabad for SMEs and initiated a new training programme called ‘Google Engage’, making India the first country in the Asia Pacific region where it has been launched.
Speaking on this occasion, Sridhar Seshadri, Head, Online Sales, Google India, said, “With over 35 million SMBs in the country, India is a strategic market for Google. We are looking significantly to invest in our efforts to maximise our reach and educate the Indian SMBs to gain from the benefits of online advertising. Our self service model saw instant adoption from the technically savvy Indian businesses, but most Indian SMBs still need some handholding to get them started and initiatives like Google Engage are a step in that direction.”
As part of Google Engage, Google will provide invitations to events and in-person training sessions to members who sign up for the initiative. The programme has been designed to help individuals and businesses engaged in offering web-related services to its customers locally. Those who register will receive readymade promotional materials, free online trainings and other education material.
When asked about the steps being taken to ensure cost effectiveness for SMBs who use the AdWords platform, Seshadri stated, “We encourage them to invest according to the earnings they derive from the business. The quality and placement of the ad then determines the cost and we make sure we explain to them why a certain requirement is important for their kind of business. So, it mostly depends on the nature of business and its economics.”
But does figuring out the exact requirement and size of the ad campaign for every SMB individually lead to ambiguity? “No, not at all”, he affirmed, adding, “We have a system in place that records all the data, click-through rates, how many clicks have turned into sales, etc., through which we take a call for a particular business.”
According to Seshadri, the SMEs industry was on the rise in India and for Google, it had delivered 100 per cent y-o-y growth. He said, “We have received phenomenal response in India and the growth rate has double in the last two years, which is almost 100 per cent y-o-y growth rate. SMEs are a big contributor to Google’s business and India’s economic growth.”
The Google AdWords platform is also completing 10 years this month and has empowered over a million small and medium businesses globally to ensure they make use of the online tool in the most effective manner. To back this motive, the Hyderabad call center will manage both inbound and out bound calls to help small medium entrepreneurs understand the result-oriented online tool.
“The launch of the new call center in Hyderabad will provide regional language support to SMBs in India for our AdWords platform. The center will offer support in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada as of now, but we plan to make available Marathi and Gujarati in the near future as well,” Seshadri informed.
“The challenge for the SMBs is to be local, and for 2011 we are focusing on more scope and depth of support to them. In 12 months from now, we are targeting at 2,500 SMEs registering with us on daily basis in comparison to 1,000 today,” he added.
In addition to the Google Engage initiative, Google India plans to host over hundred direct engagement events and workshops for SMEs and empower them with the knowledge to gain from Google AdWords platform. Small and medium businesses with an online presence can also continue to avail free advertising coupons worth Rs 2,500 that can be used to advertise on Google Search engine, by calling the number 1860 266 6622 and registering their account with the Google India AdWords platform.