India’s mobile internet market entices Google to boost ad sales

Tags: News

Search engine giant enables 3 lakh SMBs to have online presence

Internet search giant Google is looking to the Indian mobile first internet market for a boost to its advertising revenues. Though India has the capabilities to take advantage of the rising number of internet users on the mobile, lack of local content now is a barrier. This, however, will change with time, according to Allan Thygesen, vice-president and global head of SMBs for Google.

Among others, it has set up a target to enable 5 lakh small and medium businesses have a web presence. Google had enabled 3 lakh SMBs to have an online presence. This would aid the SMBs tap better business and might make them consider advertising, including in the digital media, which Google is a key player in, he said.

Google with KPMG will commission a study to measure the increase in the revenues and profitability of SMBs after adding an online presence. Initial studies indicated topline and the profitability growths of 50 per cent compared to the times of doing business only in the physical stores, he said.

India, with over 200 million internet users and growing, is on its way to becoming the second largest internet market in the world overtaking the US by 2015, he said adding that the surge in the smart phones is bringing more users online. E-commerce, which is an indicator of the health of the internet economy, is poised to grow eight to 10-fold by 2020, from the current $10 billion, about 70 per cent of it now coming from the travel segment.

There were about 47 million small and medium businesses in India but less than five per cent of these had an onlilne presence, he said about the opportunity it was chasing. The adspend across the media in India was about $6.5 billion — about $4.4 billion coming from the SMB segment — and digital advertising accounted for 7 per cent of this. US and UK, where the digital ad spend was about 30 per cent, were kind of benchmarks, he said.

GroupM’s TYNY Report 2014 recently said spend in the digital segment was likely to grow 35 per cent, mainly because many would want to be relevant with the changing business scenario. The total ad segment was poised to grow 9 per cent.

On a query if it saw a threat from the Facebook-Whatsapp combine, Thygesen said both operated at different levels and there was no threat to either from the other. Its chat user base was intact, he said.

krishnamohan@mydigitalfc.com

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