As part of the Get Your Business Online initiative, Google, on Saturday, took one of India’s oldest markets, the Chandni Chowk Market online by providing free web sites to 2,500 shops to be accessed by users worldwide.
Google is offering business owners a domain name, website creation and hosting, free of charge for one year, together with its hosting partner, HostGator. Interestingly, the sites will also be integrated with Google maps, listing these businesses under various categories on them. The two companies plan to achieve a target of building 5,000 websites for shops in the Chandni Chowk area. After a period of one year, Google India would charge around Rs 700 annually for each site.
“For a business, having a Web site today is as important as having a mobile phone. As part of our commitment we will build over 300,000 Web sites by end of next year and 500,000 free Web sites for small and medium businesses (SMBs) by end 2014,” Rajan Anandan, Vice- President and Managing Director – Sales and Operations, Google India, told reporters here.
“There are 47 million SMBs in the country, but only 400,000 have a web presence. Of this, only 100,000 have a decent quality web presence,” Anandan said. Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who is also a Member of Parliament from the Chandni Chowk constituency, said the move will help these shop owners increase their business as information about them would be more widely available.
Google also plans to provide a directory listing service starting with the businesses in Chandni Chowk Market at www.chandnichowknowonline.in