The Internet today connects more than 2.5 billion people worldwide. Half of these Internet users live outside the advanced economies, often in countries that are rapidly developing, India being one such country. Buoyed by strong Internet growth with access on mobile devices eclipsing that on PCs, today India has over 213 million Internet users and is set to have 302 million active users by the end of this year- a striking example of the Internet’s growth potential. As increasingly more Indians come online, the internet is disrupting business models and giving rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs, small business owners and a new breed of companies in India.
Pegged at 51 million, India has the world’s second largest base of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). That said, many have yet to fully embrace the Internet as a means of transforming their business to better meet customer demands and the rigors of business in today’s always-on world.
SMBs in India cumulatively account for more than 17 percent of the country’s GDP, 40 percent of the manufacturing output and 40 percent of its export base, making them vital to the country’s economic development. But the majority of small businesses in India don’t even have a website. According to a study by advisory firm Zinnov, only 20 percent of India SMBs (about 10 million) are considered technology-ready – just 500,000 have a website and a meagre two million have access to the Internet.
A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study has found that there is a strong correlation between IT adoption and revenues SMBs generate. IT adoption opens up more opportunities than ever for SMBs and as per the report, IT-enabled SMBs in India identified as “technology leaders”, grew revenues 20 percentage points faster as compared to SMBs that use less technology. Moreover, consumers and businesses are increasingly using the Internet to search for products and services, making it vital for businesses of all sizes to be present online and be visible.
By its sheer size and diversity of industries and services, India’s SMB sector has remarkable potential to lead the charge for the growth and adoption of the internet in India. However an abysmally low level of awareness of its benefits coupled with significant challenges around connectivity, bandwidth, security and privacy issues have constrained adoption of the latest web-based technologies. What is encouraging, that their traditional ‘pen and paper’ business culture – and gradually becoming more tech-savvy. GoDaddy is dedicated to helping small businesses by empowering them to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their ventures. GoDaddy with more than 12 million customers worldwide and 59 million domain names under management, offers small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business.
The company recently launched ‘Get Online Today’ in India, in collaboration with Microsoft, to help SMBs and entrepreneurs, get on the Web easily and affordably. Launched at INR 99 for the first year with an annual purchase plan, the offer is designed to cater to the business and communication needs of SMBs, while making the business more discoverable, keeping the identity secured and enabling collaboration online. The combination of online applications and always-on customer support, gives small business owners what they need to start, maintain, and grow their online presence.
The cost-effective solutions enable small businesses to easily create a complete Web presence with services including a custom domain name, a subscription to Website Builder from GoDaddy, including hosting for the business’ website on their custom domain name and Microsoft Office 365 from GoDaddy, connecting professional email, contacts and calendar to their custom domain name. In addition to accessing the complete Get Online package, customers also have access to GoDaddy’s 24/7 customer care to answer any questions or support they may need during set up and use.
GoDaddy has created intuitive design tools through which anyone, with or without a level of technical literacy, can create a website. For instance, using GoDaddy’s Website Builder, small business owners can quickly build a customized website on their own choosing from over 300 templates, with a simple drag and drop.
With an objective of educating SMBs about the significance of having an online identity and choosing the right domain name, GoDaddy has launched a series of innovative marketing campaigns - including the recent commercial featuring NutCutLal, an eccentric hairdresser with a unique hairstyle. In the commercial, NutCutLal, famous in his small town for his signature haircuts, realizes that unless he gets an online identity, his fame might fade away and his talent will go unnoticed. The creative approach for this campaign drives home the point, in a fun way, that having an online identity is essential to business success. This campaign is a reflection of GoDaddy’s commitment to accelerate the adoption of websites and creation of online identities among small businesses in India.
The Internet is at an inflection point in India. It is imperative for small businesses to establish a robust online presence that will enable them to leverage the power of the Internet in this increasingly hyper-connected world, for long-term, sustained success and GoDaddy is committed to helping them achieve that.