[TechSparks 2020] How Facebook is enabling the success of Indian SMBs amidst COVID-19 pandemic
Globally, over 180 million small and medium businesses (SMBs) use the Facebook family of apps (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc) every month. Facebook has thus emerged as a key player that can help SMBs in India recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by aiding in their digital transformation.
At a virtual fireside chat at YourStory's flagship event TechSparks 2020, Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Business, Facebook India, said:
"There is a need for SMBs to go online, and a Facebook page for a business can be easily created even if the SMB doesn't have a website or an app. Facebook helps SMBs start their digital journey immediately and opens them up to digital discovery, which is the need of the hour."
Archana Vohra (right), Director, SMB, Facebook India, in conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma (left)
Measures to boost SMB recovery
Facebook has been taking a number of measures to enable SMBs to become resilient, such as grants, business resource hubs, brand incubator programmes, advertiser programmes, and more.
Archana, who was talking to YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, said these initiatives have helped boost Facebook's reach by four times across its SMB base in the wake of the pandemic.
According to her, enabling digital discovery for SMBs is critical to their survival as consumers look to continue purchasing goods and services online, across categories.
"Through the Facebook family of apps, the offline-to-online journey for SMBs happens easily. Businesses are transacting directly with consumers through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. A lot of brands on Facebook are getting 80 percent of their business online," she said at the virtual event, adding that up to 80 percent of millennial spending during the current festive season is triggered through Facebook and Instagram.
Brand building through Facebook
D2C brands Mamaearth and Wow Skin Science are examples of consumer brands that built their success through Facebook.
Armed with campaigns labs that help young D2C brands churn out mobile-friendly creatives in 72 hours, Facebook claims to help SMBs understand the marketing and advertising strategies their products require.
"Our platforms are built in a way that allows SMBs to start advertising in a small way and then scale up," Archana explained.
Facebook's global $100 million grants programme for SMBs is another lifeline for small businesses. In India, it is a Rs 32 crore grant, which has been given to over 3,100 SMBs, Archana 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.