ArptaLAST UPDATED: Sept. 30, 2020, 4:12 p.m.
New Delhi: Google India on Wednesday said that it will launch a new show in partnership with Doordarshan called Namaste Digital as part of its new multi-pronged effort to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) navigate the challenging economic environment.
The "Namaste Digital" show will serve as a mass media programme for SMBs to learn about the Internet and help them grow their business, Google said.
Building on its effort to help consumers discover small businesses on Google search and maps, the new initiative will focus on accelerating the efforts to help businesses build digital presence in partnership with software development company Zoho and payment gateway Instamojo.
Keeping the needs of different businesses in mind, Google has also partnered with delivery services providers Dunzo and Swiggy to fast track the on-boarding process, with both partners committing to provide additional support to small businesses to start accepting orders online and enable delivery logistics.
Under the new initiative, small businesses will be able to create business websites using Zoho inventory and sell online through Zoho Commerce for free till March 31, 2021.
Instamojo on the other hand is offering a six-month free subscription to its "Premium Online Store Solution."
SMBs can also avail Dunzo's 24x7 merchant support for free with zero sign-up fees and instant registration and can make use of Swiggy's seven days "Fast track Onboarding".
All these will be available for SMBs on "Grow with Google Small Business" hub in India which was launched in July this year.
"Today, the need to go digital is a necessity and SMBs are hard-pressed to digitise fast. We need to do everything we can to handhold millions of small businesses in their digital-transformation journey and support business recovery during the current crisis," Shalini Girish, Customer Solutions Director at Google India, said in a statement.
"The needs of small businesses differ across the country and we are partnering with the industry leaders to offer more support to help small businesses go digital."
The new initiative builds on the "Grow with Google Small Business hub" effort, and is in direct response to the feedback received from small medium businesses captured in the Google-Kantar small business tracker research conducted in July.
According to the report, customer related challenges tops the list for small businesses, with 92 per cent businesses facing customer related challenges, revenue loss due to low demand and payment of fixed costs are the other most severe challenges among businesses.
The report also highlights that businesses are seeing the benefits of going digital, and today 5 out of 10 businesses are using digital channels to engage their customers compared to just 4 in 10 in April.
In addition to providing support to go digital, Google India is also investing in efforts to scale its outreach to help small businesses learn to use digital tools in local Indian languages.
As part of this effort, Google has worked closely with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to drive an industry wide skilling program which has already trained 1.2 million individuals.