Google CEO Sundar Pichai launched Digital Unlocked, a Google initiative, to help SMBs get online in India on Wednesday. Fresh on the heels of connecting 100 of the busiest railway stations by Wi-Fi , Google’s next project to connect the next billion — Digital Unlocked — is geared towards helping SMBs leverage the power of technology to think and dream big, and get there. In the words of Pichai himself, “Internet can enable a small business to become big overnight.”
Under the Digital Unlocked initiative, Google India will offer training programs for SMBs to build their skills. The search engine giant has also collaborated with FICCI to offer one-day on-sight training for them so they can help understanding the need of their customers and reach their true potential in the process.
Pichai also said that India, with its unique digital landscape, is very important for Google. He says that by solving problems in India, the company can solve it for the world and cited the example of YouTube offline that went live in India before anywhere else. ” If we solve a problem for India, we solve it for the world,” he said.
“With Digital Unlocked, Google is committed to ensuring that every single small business in India that wants to go digital has access to quality training,” the company said.
The program will work across online, offline and mobile. “The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities. The online training comprises a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials, curated specifically for India and is available free of charge,” it added. The training will be certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.
Two important aspects of Digital Unlocked are My Business and Primer. My Business will help SMBs build websites from scratch. The platform will be available in as many as nine different Indian languages including in Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam. Primer, on the other hand, is a free mobile app for Android and iOS “designed to teach SMBs digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way.” The app works offline as well.