Google is ramping up its small business offerings in India with newly bundled digital services and a system to let financial institutions offer business loans through the Google Pay app.
The campaign, called the Grow with Google Small Business Hub in India, was announced in a Thursday (June 25) blog post by Shalini Girish, India director of Google Customer Solutions, and Sajith Sivanandan, India business head of Google Pay and NBU initiatives.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have accelerated the need for many more businesses, especially small and medium businesses, to adopt technology and ‘get online’ to minimize the disruption and recover,” they wrote. “We recognize that recovery will come in different stages for different businesses. But we want to ensure that we are helping businesses make this journey, providing every business with the support and tools they need to recover and rebuild in this new environment.”
The executives added: “This hub will serve as a single destination for all small businesses to get access to all the products and tools they need to go digital, maintain business continuity and get access to helpful resources like quick help videos, support pages to learn digital skills. We will soon make this site available in Hindi as well.”
New Google product features, at least for the company’s India customers, include an update to the Google My Business portal to make it easier to notify customers of a temporarily business closure or reopening, new ways to highlight business on Google Maps and enhancements to Google Pay.
The small business loan program through Google Pay will be available “soon,” the executives wrote.
Google said it is upgrading the free versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides to the professional versions through September.
Google India increased its investment in small and medium-sized business (SMB) products in 2015 and again in 2017, according to a 2017 blog post.
In asserting that digital services will accelerate the recovery of small businesses in India, Google cited a 2017 report conducted by the company and KPMG.
That study concluded, among other things, that digital businesses grow profits twice as fast as peers that are not engaged in digital marketing. The authors also wrote that digitally-savvy businesses scale geographically much more quickly than non-digital counterparts.