Google India announced the launch of www.indiagetonline.in, a service that will help small to medium businesses in India with their online presence. The initiative is called, “India, Get Your Business Online” and will provide businesses with free domain names at .in, hosting space for a year, as well as tools for succeeding online. The hosting space is provided by HostGator and there is a tool which will help the businesses actually create their website. Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Union Rural Development Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh, said, “We want to see India's SMEs grow to become recognized Indian brands, and a presence on the Internet is absolutely essential for this. I therefore welcome Google's initiative in launching India Get Your Business Online for SMEs. This will help SMEs modernize their operations and reach out to more customers in India and abroad.” Watch the video below to see a description of the project.
Google's goal is to help 5,00,000 small to medium businesses in India to get online in the next three years. India is home to an estimated 8 million small and medium businesses, out of which only about 400,000 have a website. Google believes that small businesses often don't bother with a website and online presence because the process might be tedious, inefficient and expensive. This is why HostGator will offer free support in creating, hosting and managing the website for a period of one year without any cost through its toll free call centers 1800-266-3000. Google also says that the process of starting work on the website and getting it up online takes as little as 15 minutes.
In addition to being free and quick, other features that Google's throwing in are a free coupon of worth Rs. 2,500 advertising trial from Google AdWords to help with site promotion, a Google Apps account with free personalized email addresses, photos/logos and integration with social media platforms. After the first year, SMBs can choose to pay a monthly pay-as-you-go to maintain their website using HostGator, as well as a fee to hold their domain name. Websites can be cancelled at any time.
The program is also supported by the Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), popularly known as FISME. This non-profit organization will be responsible for outreach activities, so Indian small business owners find out that this program exists.