Google has set its sights on India and the nation’s SMEs in an effort to seek out new users as the country enters center stage in the world of FinTech.
Reports Wednesday (Jan. 4) said Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced an initiative aimed at enticing small and medium-sized enterprises within India to expand their digital presences. To do so, Google is launching a solution to help SMEs design websites compatible with mobile devices.
According to Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, only a quarter of India’s 51 million SMEs have a web presence.
“India shapes how we develop products in so many ways, big and small,” Pichai said Wednesday at a conference in India, explaining why Google is starting with India to introduce its latest SME solution. Reports noted that the executive also said Google has expanded its staff and is investing more time in the India market.
The effort could reflect Google’s need to increase its user base, reports added, with India a prime target thanks to its fast-growing economy and rapid adoption of electronic and mobile FinTech. Analysts said Google is looking to take advantage of India’s potential to add new advertising revenue streams. And with the technology conglomerate no longer operating in China, India is the next best thing to grabbing the millions of people that, while not yet online, are slated to do so thanks to affordable mobile devices.
Already, 66 percent of adults in India own a mobile device, with that number continuing to climb, according to the PYMNTS.com Doing Business In India report, released this week.
India has a long way to go, however, when it comes to digitization, with 83 percent of consumers still using cash for their online purchases, according to the report. Embracing digital payments and an online presence will be critical to the continuing growth of India's economy, according to PayU India CEO Amrish Rau.