Speaking at the launch event, Rajan Anandan, the managing director of Google India said that the nation is currently home to eight million businesses with five employees or less. However, only 400,000 businesses have a website and just 100,000 businesses have a high quality website.
Through this initiative, Google hopes to help 500,000 small/medium businesses gain a digital presence over the next three years. It has partnered with HostGator for this initiative, which will be offering free hosting and technical support for these businesses. Other prominent partners include ICICI Bank, and Federation of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (FISME).
Rajan Anandan said that this initiative has received a phenomenal response across the world, especially in western countries. India will be the 18th country where such initiative has been rolled out.
What is Google India offering?
Google will provide a customized .in domain along with free tools, training, and resources to build a high quality website. This will be bundled with a Google Apps account, although its not yet clear whether it is a Standard edition or Premier edition.
HostGator will provide web hosting along with free support in managing the website for one year through its toll-free call centers 1800-266-3000.
There’s also a free Rs. 2500 coupon (about $56) for advertising from Google AdWords to help promote your site along with free tips and tools from the Getting Indian Business Online team.