Over 2,500 businesses in the capital's iconic Chandni Chowk market are
now online with their own websites as part of an initiative by Google,
owner of the world's most popular search engine.
Google, as part of
its 'India Get Your Business Online' initiative launched in November
2011, offers free websites and domains to small and medium businesses
(SMBs) in the country.
"With over 137 million Internet users in
the country, an increasing number of users are now looking for local
information online," Google India VP and Managing Director (Sales and
Operations) Rajan Anandan said at an event late last evening New Delhi.
An initiative like this helps SMBs get started on the Internet, he added.
are 47 million SMBs in the country, but only 400,000 have a web
presence. Of this, only 100,000 have a decent quality web presence,"
As part of the project, Google India and HostGator
went to each shop in Chandni Chowk and built over 2,500 free websites
for businesses operating from the market.
In addition to creating
these websites, Google India has also launched a common website
'www.chandnichowknowonline.in' to provide a directory of businesses from
Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who is
also a Member of Parliament from the Chandni Chowk constituency, said
the move will help these shop owners increase their business as
information about them would be more widely available.
is becoming an engine of economic growth and is expected to contribute
over USD 100 billion by 2015 to India's GDP. Embracing Internet will
increase competitiveness of these businesses in the global economy,"
Google aims to build over 500,000 free websites for
SMBs in the country by 2014. "We have created over 150,000 websites
across 7,850 cities in India within a year. Next year, we expect to
cover 300,000 businesses and by 2014-end, we will meet the target of
500,000," Anandan said.
He added the company is looking at some
other major business hubs to take more small businesses online but did
not disclose any details.
Chandni Chowk is a hub of small and
medium businesses in north India with over 5,000 businesses including
suppliers, exporters and wholesalers, but very few own a website.
initiative from Google has provided all businesses with a professional
website, which will now make it easier for customers to find us online
and help us to grow our businesses," Kinari Bazaar Gota Zari Association
of Chandni Chowk spokesperson Pradeep Jain said.
Under the 'India
Get Your Business Online' initiative, small businesses can set up a
website for free and after a year, they need to pay just the website
Google runs similar initiatives in other parts of the world as well.