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Playing an important role in transforming the small business ecosystem in India: Google

The platform has Spots, GooglePay, Google My Business and a host of others by which it is helping small businesses go online

July 13, 2020 / 09:17 PM IST

While COVID-19 has managed to shutter millions of shops across India, technology has helped them remain operational. Many small entrepreneurs have moved online to sell their products and ship them to consumers. Google said it has played a pivotal role in this transformation.

There are over 26 million small businesses, which are discoverable on Google, said Caesar Sengupta, its Vice President for payments and the next billion users’ initiative. These companies can be found on the search button of Google as well as on the maps, helping them to be discovered. Google also facilitates more than 150 million direct connections between online businesses and customers through its multiple platforms.

Giving an instance where a business quickly transformed into an online player when the lockdown brought business to a standstill, Sanjay Gupta, Country Head for Google, narrated the story about a Gurugram-based stationery shop Blue Dot Pencil which displayed its products on the Google My Business app and used Swiggy to get their products delivered to consumers.

There are three million merchants who are using Google Pay Business, which was launched last year, to accept digital payments, Sengupta said.

During the lockdown, when discoverability became a challenge, Google launched Nearby Stores on Pay, which enabled consumers to look for availability of products around them. Within two months of the launch, more than two million people used this service, he said.

Besides the small players, even large businesses are using Google Spot to create a better experience for their consumers. Taking the case of two startups Dunzo, an on demand delivery player, and 5Paisa, an online stock broking platform, Google has seen a large scale use of Spot already.

Google has been leveraging its payments arm Google Pay to create an omnichannel consumption experience for its users. Spots, Nearby etc are all part of that broader attempt to encourage Indian small businesses to go online and sell online.

In this business, Google is competing with its American rival Facebook. The latter owned WhatsApp in partnership with Reliance Jio is attempting to take businesses online, accept orders online, accept payments digitally and deliver at the doorstep.

This is the same ecosystem that Google is also trying to create. Discover shops through Google Search, find them on the app, find out what is in stock, order online and make payments online. In partnership with delivery players, the shop can undertake deliveries as well.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments

Pratik Bhakta
first published: Jul 13, 2020 04:49 pm