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Google honours SMBs Heroes For Embracing Digital Technology, CareNx and Buttercups emerged as national winners of Google SMB Heroes 2017. Google India has announced the names of the winners at a function in Delhi on 26 July, 2017. Google India reaffirmed its commitment to digitally empower India’s small and medium businesses. As part of its Digital Unlocked campaign, Google announced the national winners of SMB Heroes 2017, an initiative aimed at recognising businesses that have embraced technology to power their growth.

The three businesses that emerged as national winners under each of the categories are: Farida Gupta for Business Impact Through Digital,   Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni for Impacting Change Through Digital and Arpita Ganesh for Woman Business Leader. These businesses have excelled in the innovative use of technology and have leveraged it to address challenges and grow their businesses.

Speaking with Arpita Ganesh from Buttercups said, “This recognition from google is very fabulous”.

Arpita Ganesh’s Buttercups is India’s leading online lingerie store. Buttercups started social media marketing in 2014 and followed it up with Google advertising solutions in 2016 including Search, AdWords and Analytics. After starting digital marketing, Buttercups started getting orders from all parts of the country their revenue has gone up by 13X in 18 months.

Farida Gupta’s women apparel business is committed to bringing together a varied range of traditional crafts and techniques. They have successfully built their online presence which has resulted in an increase of 400% year on year in their profitability.

Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni’s CareNx provides health solutions for high risk pregnancies to over 6000 pregnant women in more than 200 villages and has strategic partnerships with more than 20 organizations that include hospitals and medical schools. Leveraging the digital platform, they created a first of its kind app that connects pregnant women with gynaecologists to monitor vitals and provide recommendations for any identified health risks. By the end of 2017, CareNx aims to reach 30,000 pregnant women in India in 800 villages.

Speaking at the event Rajan Anandan, Vice President – India and South-East Asia, Google said, “India’s incredible story of internet adoption continues to have a transformational impact on how people are consuming information, finding new businesses and connecting with one another. However, India’s 51million strong small and medium business community is not yet where they should be. At Google, we are committed to removing the barriers to adoption and providing small business with the training and tools they need to accelerate their growth.”

Earlier this year, Google and KPMG had conducted a joint study, “Impact of internet and digitization on SMBs in India”. As per the report, SMBs cited a lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills as the essential reasons for being offline.

Recognizing the need to address these gaps, Google unveiled its Digital Unlocked program earlier this year. As part of this program, Google is providing online, offline and mobile trainings to empower thousands of Indian SMBs with essential digital skills. The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and in the last six months, over 500,000 individuals have engaged with the skilling platform and 20,000 businesses have been trained.

In addition, Google launched Primer, a free mobile app designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. In the last few months, Primer has been downloaded over two million times.

Google also launched ‘Websites with Google My Business’, a free tool for SMBs to create free, mobile optimised websites, easily and instantly. Through this new feature, businesses get access to templated, editable websites using their already existing data on Google My Business. With Websites with Google My Business SMBs can automatically build websites in 10 languages – Tamil, English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam. 160,000 Indian businesses are already using Websites with Google My Business and finding newer ways to connect with consumers.

As esteemed jury panel comprising Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology; Dr. A. Didar Singh, author and Secretary General, FICCI; Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO,; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman, Info Edge, India and Kevin O’Kane, Managing Director – Google Marketing Solutions, Google Asia Pacific selected the national winners from 14 regional finalists, who had been recognised earlier this year. This year, SMB Heroes witnessed unprecedented interest, with entries from over 142 cities across India including Hoshiarpur, Rajkot, Rajamundhry, Jamshedpur, Coimbatore, Hisar, Bhimavaram and many more.

“The small business sector is the backbone of the Indian economy, driving 37 per cent of the country’s GDP and employing 120 million people. It is encouraging to see initiatives like Google’s SMB Heroes program, which can help fuel economic growth by making the Internet a key facilitator in India’s SMB growth story”, said, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.


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