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Google to focus on SMEs in India

The world's most-used web search engine Google plans to help half a million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India to go online by the end of next year.

With India set to become second largest internet market in the world overtaking the US by 2015, Google sees India as a key market and is focusing on SMEs, which contribute significantly to its global revenues.

Allan Thygesen, vice president and global head of SMEs for Google Inc, told the media here that the firm has already launched an initiative to give SMEs a cost-effective way to reach out to customers.

"It's a key growth initiative in India, which is the fastest growing market for us among top 20 markets," he said.

Google has already made significant investment in India in terms of increasing the headcount and developing new products to drive the growth in SMEs sector. It is also offering services in English and nine regional languages in India.

Google has 1,200 partners across India to help SMEs manage their businesses online. In the last two years, it enabled 300,000 SMEs to go online. Its premier partners cover 65 cities and this number is expected to go up to 100 this year.

With over 200 million Internet users, India is on its way to become the second largest Internet market in the world after China.

K. Suryanarayana, head of SMEs, Google India, said the surge in affordable smartphone was bringing more users online. The e-commerce industry, which was roughly at USD 10 billion in 2013 is projected to touch USD 80-100 billion by 2020.

Out of the 50 million SMEs in India, only five percent have online presence.

"Indian SMEs have been slower to adopt online strategies because of lack of time and understanding of the Internet medium and self service model," he said.

Google helps SMEs to get started online by creating a website, a social page, a mobile ready site and also bring them on Google search, Google maps and on other medium like the YouTube. The SMEs may also track their efforts through Google analytics.

Google has designed products like AdWords Express, that makes it easy for SMEs to run advertising campaigns online.