This Vadodara-based gas supply business is riding the digital wave to growth with Vodafone WebBuddy
Towards the end of the 20th century, the World Wide Web was a nascent technology that was largely used for military communications.
Little did anyone know that in less than 25 years since its inception, the internet would become an indispensable part of our lives, and forever change the way we learn, work, shop and entertain ourselves.
Internet penetration has transcended borders, thanks to increasing affordability of smartphones and data packages. In India, the number of smartphone users is expected to rise by 84 percent to 859 million by 2022, according to a study by Assocham and PWC.
The challenges to having an online presence
Small businesses, the cornerstone of India’s economy by way of employment generation and economic activity, are aware of the change in consumer behaviour brought on by digitisation.
Some stakeholders that already have a digital presence are also aware of its potential to expand their clientbase beyond their current physical location. According to a survey, almost one-third (32 percent) of the total Indian small businesses surveyed (that are online), reported they already have a website, and about 19 percent said they plan to build a website soon.
However, they often do not have the time, skills or resources needed to reach out prospective customers online and engage with them in a relevant manner. Take the example of Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries — A Vadodara-based business that has been supplying gases like Oxygen, Argon, Nitrogen, Zero Air, among others, to local manufacturing, fabrication, oil and gas, and medical companies.
Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries is a small-sized business operating since 1999 and has an annual turnover of Rs 3.5 crore. Being a small business, it would seek out its clientele by traditional “meet-and-greet” and referral practices, which was time and resource-consuming. It would also resort to traditional ways of marketing that increased the costs of their offering,and had a limited reach in comparison to digital marketing.
Riding the digital wave with Vodafone WebBuddy
The team at Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries found the perfect solution to overcome these hurdles in Vodafone’s WebBuddy — A suite of services specially crafted for small businesses to create an online presence and amplify the outreach of their business beyond the confines of their physical location.
Having a website that conveys a sense of professionalism is important, and according to a Stanford web credibility research, close to 75 percent of consumers judge the credibility of a business by looking at their website design. With WebBuddy, Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries got its own feature-rich, modern website up and running in no time. This is because their website was built on a professional and appealing template, which Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries selected from the hundreds of options offered by WebBuddy.
The business also has the option of adding as many additional pages needed to their website at no cost of their own, and without any coding skills from their end. With their website, Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries could also reach out to prospective customers by adding their contact details, their portfolio of work and customer testimonials at no cost. The website was also responsive, which meant the company could reach out to many more potential customers as the website could work across any array of devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones.
Professional email addresses go a long way in conveying professionalism to clients. Through WebBuddy, Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries secured its unique Domain, which they used to create professional email addresses that offers up to 10 GB in storage, enhanced security with anti-spam and filters, and superior accessibility across all devices, among other advanced features.
The Vodafone edge
Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries did not have the technical skill to create the online presence they needed. This was no more a barrier as Vodafone’s technical staff took care of all their needs — right from setting up all the basic infrastructure, to getting the website up and running, and setting up professional email addresses for all employees of the company.
But this was not all. The industrial gas manufacturer and supplier found it easy to operate its website and manage its email addresses as the Vodafone team was always available to provide the required support and guidance, be it for technical or non-technical issues.
Through the power of social media and digital marketing, Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries now plans to increase the awareness of their offerings to potential customers at a reduced cost. As a result, they hope to offer their products and services at competitive rates.
With the potential to expand their client outreach beyond their own geographical area, Bhagyalaxmi Gas Industries now looks at a new wave of growth. They foresee that they would need to upgrade their email and security services to effectively cater to their larger client base.