In India, the number of internet users is growing in an inexorably high rate and currently stands at over a 100 million. Google, the search engine giant can’t afford to miss the chance to cash in on that. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Shailesh Rao the managing director of the media business of Google for the Asia Pacific region and Rajan Anandan, managing director of Google in India, discussed how the company will swell itself in this expanding market.
As per Google, the internet userbase in India has reached an inflection point and the company plans to monetize this in various ways. Google’s strategy would be five-fold:
- Increasing the strength of its sales team
- Making partnerships with ad agencies
- Collaborating with SMEs and helping them in advertising their products
- Increasing cloud servicing
- Focusing more on mobile and display advertising
Anandan said that in India, most of the searches by users are entertainment related. But at the same time, people also search for cars, accessories, sports, locations etc. This might be a typical characteristic of Indian online users, but Rao explained how some of the tendencies amongst Indian consumers coincide with users from other regions. For example, with the expansion of e-commerce, Indian users are not only searching for various products and services but, whenever the cost of a product or service goes down, a huge number of users visit Google and search. This relationship between prices of devices or accessory going down and jump in usage of Google holds almost everywhere, as in India.
As far as mobile technologies are concerned, Rao and Anandan said that in India, 40 million users access internet via mobile devices and 95 percent of them use feature phones. They hoped that by 2015, there will be around 750 million internet users in India and almost half of them will access internet on mobile phones. That’s why Google is utterly serious in providing users with a mobile technology platform.
Google is also looking forward to become the viable medium of advertising for SMBs. Rao and Anandan said that nearly 50000 websites are listed in Google’s display network and amongst the top 25 advertisers in India, 22 advertise on Google. They want to put the same amount of importance on the SMBs which they put on the large enterprises.
Google is emphasizing on cloud computing also. This is because the company noticed that as most small enterprises don’t spend money on advertising, same is the case when it comes to software, the same approach remains. By using cloud computing, Google wants to generate low cost software and reach out to these companies.
Earlier we had also reported that Google is launching a marketing campaign to promote display advertising in India. Google had also announced previously that it is partnering with production houses in India to release Bollywood films on YouTube and it has also partnered with Indiatimes to stream the live matches of the IPL. Although Orkut has lost its thrown as the top social networking site in India. Google still considers it a viable market and keeps pushing out new features.
It is not surprising that Google is shifting its focus to India. India is a growing market which is passionate about its internet usage. The Indian users have become matured and do not want to be kept away from new features and products which their western counterparts enjoy. The companies which realize this and take the right steps would able tap this rich market. Google certainly seem to be moving on the right path.
With Google’s new initiatives the country would be benefited from various aspects. There will be a lot of opportunities created for the Indian youth to work at one of the best companies of the web. The Indian consumers would get access to a galore of new products and the SMBs would be able to utilize one of the best advertising mediums available today. Indian ad agencies would also increased action as Google starts partnering with them to draw in more advertisers.
What’s your take on this move that Google has announced?