[TechSparks 2020] How Google India is empowering SMBs, women entrepreneurs with technology to support economic recovery

In a virtual fireside chat at TechSparks 2020, Sapna Chadha, Senior Marketing Director, Google India and Southeast Asia, explained how the tech giant and its partner-firms are addressing key challenges faced by Indian SMBs and women entrepreneurs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed over 24 percent of Indian small and medium businesses (SMBS) in an existential crisis. If supply chain disruptions, liquidity crunch, and slow digital adoption persist, these SMBs could shut down permanently.

In the last few months, Googlehas come to their aid through its ‘Make Small Strong’ campaign — an initiative to start a community-wide drive and encourage consumers to choose SMBs and go vocal for local.

During a virtual fireside chat at YourStory Mediaflagship event TechSparks 2020, Sapna Chadha, Senior Marketing Director, Google India and Southeast Asia, said,

“There is a dire need to drive consumer activity and engagement towards SMBs. While making a purchase, it isn’t usually at the top of an Indian consumer’s mind to buy from a small business. We want to change this perspective through the Make Small Strong campaign and help people choose SMBs.”

She added, “Through the Make Small Strong campaign, Google is creating a call to action for the country to buy from a small business, leave ratings, and talk about their experiences.”

Sapna Chadha, Senior Marketing Director, Google India and Southeast Asia (left) in conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma (right)

The campaign focuses on accelerating the efforts to help businesses build a digital presence in partnership with Zohoand Instamojo.

Keeping the needs of different businesses in mind, Google has also partnered with Dunzoand Swiggyto fast-track the on-boarding process, with both partners committing to provide additional support to small businesses to start accepting orders online and enable delivery logistics. 

Uplifting women entrepreneurs

Sapna is optimistic that Google can boost technology adoption among women across India and inspire them to become entrepreneurs.

During the interaction with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Sapna Chadha explained how Google India and Tata Trusts initiative Internet Saathi boosted digital literacy among women in rural India.

“The Internet Saathi initiative was done to cover three lakh villages and help women go online and become Internet Saathis. These women then act as role models to help other women go online. Seventy percent of these women have become a source of information in their villages, and 30 percent went on to become entrepreneurs,” she said.

Sapna also brought up Namaste Digital — a mass media programme for digital literacy that Google India announced in partnership with Doordarshan.

“At Google India, it’s not about selling our products. It’s about helping people understand the impact of learning about digital and enabling the process,” she said.

TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.

Edited by Suman Singh


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