Google India has announced ‘India Get Your Business Online’, a first-of-its kind program to offer free websites, domain & hosting services to small medium businesses in India. Designed with local partners, the program provides Indian businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their businesses.
The initiative seems to overcome the hurdles that stop small businesses from getting online – by offering a quick, easy and free tool to set up and host a website. According to the press release from Google India, the initiative has goal to help 500,000 small medium businesses in India to get online in next three years through this program, with Google’s partner HostGator. Small business owners in India can logon to www.indiagetonline.in and use the tool to get a free, easy-to-build website and web hosting for one year powered by HostGator. Businesses will also get a customized domain .in name and free tools, training and resources to succeed online.
At present, India is home to an estimated 8 million small medium businesses, only about 5% have a website. This program is designed to bridge the information gap that exists online due to the lack of presence of local Indian businesses on the Internet. Businesses often believe that getting online is too complex, costly and time-consuming; this perception prevents many SMBs from taking the first step towards building an online presence. Google India and HostGator plan to change that through this initiative. In addition, HostGator will also 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.
Through this initiative Google India would offer following benefits:
- Free: It’s free to set up your website. The domain is free for 1 year, and it’s free to maintain your website for 12 months.
- Quick: The website tool takes 15 minutes from sitting down to being found online
- Easy: You don’t need to be a tech whiz to get started. All you need to start is your address, phone number, TAN/CIN or PAN to verify you as a business
- The website is simple because customers are looking for simple information online
- Gives you your own .in domain
- Other features include photos/logos, integration with social media platforms
- You get a Google Apps account – free personalised email ids
- If you want to make your website work harder, you’ll have access to steady stream of free tips and tools from the Getting Indian Business Online team and a free coupon of worth Rs. 2500 INR advertising trial from Google AdWords to help promote your site.
- After the first year, SMBs can choose to pay a monthly pay-as-you-go to maintain their website using hostgator.
- At the end of the first year, they’ll have to pay a nominal charge if they wish to renew their domain name. They can cancel their website at any time.
‘India get your business online’ program is also supported by Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), popularly known as FISME. FISME, the non-profit organisation will work with Google India to help SMBs get online through direct customer outreach and events.