NEW DELHI — Aiming to give a technological edge to small and medium businesses in India, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced two initiatives Jan. 9: “Digital Unlocked” and “My Business Website.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of India’s economy. Internet is for everyone,” Pichai said, addressing the media here.

“The Internet is a powerful equalizer and we are motivated to bring the benefits of information and technology to as many people as possible,” he said.

“Building for everyone and making it available in the hands of as many people is at the heart and core of what we do. And we do this by investing in (an) open ecosystem,” the Indian American CEO added.

Pichai said that Google, along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, has developed a training program, called “Digital Unlocked,” to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with the essential digital skills that will enable them to get online and start using the power of the internet to grow their businesses.

The program would be certified by Google, FICCI and the Indian School of Business – Hyderabad. It will offer online and mobile courses to SMBs across the country.

“We plan to impart 5,000 training workshops in 40 cities in three years,” he added.

The global search engine giant has also started another initiative, “My Business Website.” It is a free tool to help make a website in 10 minutes.

“Any small business can sign up. Internet is as (important) for the local players as it is for a high-flying one. It will first start in India (later this year), and then will be launched in other countries,” Pichai said.

“My Business Website” will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.

There are around 51 million small- and medium-sized businesses in India. Google unveiled the results of a joint research study with KPMG titled, “Impact of Internet and Digitization on SMBs in India,” which stated that 68 percent of the 51 million Indian SMBs were offline.

“Profits grow twice as fast for those SMBs who have digital business,” said Rajan Anandan, Google’s vice president of South-East Asia and India.

SMBs contribute 37 percent to the Indian gross domestic products, he added.

Furthermore, for India’s mobile-first audience, Google also launched Primer, a free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way.

Primer works offline and is currently available in English and Hindi. Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions are coming soon.

In appreciation of all the initiatives from Google, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Google is as much an Indian company as American.”

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