Want your business online? All you need to do is just Google! The Indian SMBs now only do Google for transforming their business growth to next level. With only Google, SMBs went through a digital path and created landscapes under Google support.
Digital boarding is an effective way to do marketing of a business as it involves low start-up costs, extensive reach and off-course a big plus point that is popularity.With these thoughts in mind Google early this year announced “SMB heroes” in order to help and to recognize the Indian SMBs who need guidance and also who are going digital through the initiatives by the company.
SMB Heroes is an initiative by Google that aims recognition of businesses embraced with technology in order to power their overall growth.
In today’s date, there are very few businesses that do not have a website,a social media account like Facebook or Twitter.
Given below are the businesses who got recognized as heroes in the digital space by Google:
#A supply that pack needs well!
The e-commerce story
Packingsupply is an online store for packing materials. The aim is to address the needs of small and medium buyers.
Packingsupply commenced as an offline business with no website or an e-commerce platform. There were many challenges faced by the company in terms of growth and then the digital tool was decided to work with. Going online was part of the discussion in order to reach geographically spread audiences and open other growth opportunities.
Packingsupply.in created a website that was enabled with functions such as a digital wallet and monthly reminders for packaging needs.
In addition to the website, several digital marketing tools were used like search and data analytics.
The observed changes
Within the first few months of creating a website, the business started getting orders from different corners of the country and attained sales of approx INR 20 lakhs and the belief in digital was reaffirmed.
With digital, Packingsupply business orders grew 80%.
Digital investment has allowed Packingsupply to reach over 20,000 customers across the country.
#When Fashion meets wedding e-tail
WedLista.com is an online destination for wedding apparel which includes wedding sarees, jewellery, sherwani etc.
The e-commerce business
The companies vision is to be the most customer centric brand by giving its customers the best quality products at competent prices and trusted cutomers service.
In January 2017, the business made a big push towards digital advertising. The company started using Google solutions including shopping, search and display ads.
Commencing the digital journey
Within the first two months of commencing the digital journey, the business has 100 registered customers and is clocking revenues of approx INR 2 lakhs. Further, the business has enabled 40+ sellers from different cities of India and gets 1500+ visits per day on the website.
Owing the success
WedLista.com is in the process of developing an Android app to offer customized solution to users.
Expanding to international markets and adding innovative features such as try at home and on-call stylist are at focus.
#At home with care
With a vision to prevent pregnancy related deaths CareNX was launched.
CareNx built CareMother, an app that connects pregnant women with gynaecologists to monitor vitals and provide recommendations for any identified health risks.
CareMother caters to over 6,000 pregnant women to provide health solutions in more than 200 villages across the country and has strategic partnerships with more than 20 organisations including hospitals and medical schools.
The business aims to reach 30,000 pregnant women in India in 200+ villages.
#Now be ethically diverse with Farida
Company: Farida Gupta
Location: New Delhi
The company involves a varied range of traditional crafts and techniques of dyeing, weaving, printing and hand embroidery.
The business started with two embroidery girls in South Delhi and at present has grown into a thriving business employing more than 100 underprivileged women.
In 2016, the company made a decision to shut down three retail stores in Delhi and go digital. The website was launched – www.faridagupta.com and was followed by a mobile site.
Business earned revenue
The business used digital advertising included search ads and dynamic re-marketing to increase visits to the website and engage new and existing customers better.
In the last one year, backed by good quality products and engaging digital campaigns, the business has seen an incredible 10x increase in their customer acquisition.
#Increasing opportunities for leisure
Company: Gainwell Leisure Holidays
Incorporated in 1991, Gainwell Leisure Holidays is an International Outbound Tour Company. The business has completed 25 years in the travel industry and handles over 25,000 passengers per year.
New phase of growth
In 2014, Gainwell Leisure Holidays looked for further growths and decided to re-launch their website with the objective of reaching out to a newer audience, as well as strengthening their engagement with existing customers.
The new website
The website has been designed to be user-friendly as well as provide latest information and content. The business also started an online payment option for customers.
Further, to provide a rich customer experience, the website also features live chatbots for real-time customer service.
Gainwell is extensively advertising online, and is driving customers to their website through Google Search. Further, they have embraced technology by leveraging G Suite for email and collaboration.
Today, 70% of Gainwell’s budget for new marketing campaigns is dedicated to digital media and almost 50% of the business is coming through the new website.
Since 2014, the business has experienced 100% growth in revenue through web leads, and in 2017 alone.
The website traffic has grown 3X over the previous year.
#Ecologically in Style
GAB ‘Gift a Bag’ is an initiative that addresses ecological issues through the medium of bags. Gab Project is a one stop shop for customized leather, jute and cotton finished goods. While they mostly do B2B bulk orders, they also do some sampling to meet small quantity requirements.
Founder of Gab Project, Madhumita Bagchi had also been involved with several, skill-development projects for women in West Bengal, as well as a textile manufacturing project for the Government of Agartala.
When Gab Project was launched in 2016, collaboration with Expostores and her marketing team helped them understood the importance of taking their business online with a unique message and having a strong digital presence.
They believed that this would help them reach new customers, and have an ongoing engagement with them.
Expostores’s digital marketing
Gab Project gets leads through Expostores’s digital marketing campaigns that have helped them increase sales significantly.
Expostores provides customised CRM, Marketing Automation & Strategy services to help companies with their sourcing & procurement, using smarter supply chains. To manage customer relationship from lead generation to fulfilment is the most crucial task in B2B & cross border trades, which Expostores is quite adept at.
Within a year, the business saw a growth of 250% in sales month-on-month and increase in profit by 170%.
“We have generated orders worth more than INR 5 million in the last year and we plan to move ahead of INR 1 Billion in the next 5 years, with the right digital platforms and team.” says Madhumita Bagchi.
Conceptualized by Vandit Kali, the business in the Andamans offers basic to advanced scuba training.
DIVEIndia has 15 professionals and dive instructors with operations in 2 islands within the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands – Havelock and Neil.
Understanding DIVEIndia’s marketing needs, the founder realized that there has been a drastic shift in the way customers are researching for their diving holidays. Therefore, DIVE soon took to the online route to expand their reach and create awareness organically.
Use of Google AdWords
DIVEIndia started using Google AdWords in 2015 and invested extensively in Google Search and Analytics to drive divers to the website and track user behaviour, as well as in social media marketing to allow divers to share their experiences.
With these efforts, DIVEIndia’s website leads conversions increased by an average 230% YoY and the organic website traffic increased by 400% from November 2015 to March 2017.
#Do you wanna make fraandship
The online platform
The platform provides an online counseling and emotional support to people. It’s designed to foster mental wellness. It connects those in need to counselors, life coaches and career guides through online chats, guaranteeing completely confidential individual sessions.
YourDost.com offers the reach and anonymity that can get people to open up and talk freely about their mental health. Their website also includes 24*7 availability of experts and choice in mode of communication such as one-on-one text messages, voice and video calls.
The mobile app
Apart from a desktop and mobile website, YourDost also has a mobile app for both Android and iOS users. YourDost uses Search and Display advertising solutions to spread awareness about mental health.
On the digital working Richa Singh, CoFounder and CEO, YourDost says,“YourDost has used digital innovation to build an ecosystem for emotional wellness. YourDost’s fast growing base of users impacted is a testament to just how important and useful this platform is.”
YourDOST has touched more than 10 lakh lives till date. With 900+ experts, it carries nearly 2300 one-to-one conversations every day.
#Get the perfect fit online
The lingerie for women
Buttercups.in is an online lingerie store that provides custom lingerie for women.
The mission not only includes finding the right fit through interactive calculators and quizzes, but also making every woman feel comfortable in her skin.
Arpita Ganesh, CEO of Buttercups says “After starting digital marketing, Buttercups started getting orders from all parts of the country. I saw orders coming in from places I had never imagined, like Dibrugarh in Assam.”
With Google Ad solutions
“When we started using Google Ad solutions, we never looked back. There was a massive jump in revenue and we seriously started digital marketing.” says Arpita Ganesh.
The revenue went up by 13X in 18 months of starting digital marketing. Today, Buttercups.in has experienced a revenue growth of nearly 200% since 2015.
#Concrete products like never before
Company: Astra Concrete
Astra Concrete Products, is a manufacturer and exporter of quality concrete spacers, supplying products to landmark projects, metro systems and high-rise towers in India and abroad.
Before the digital journey
Before starting their digital journey, most of the business for Astra was limited to the state of Goa. Astra did not have ways and means to make people aware of its innovative product and reaching to customers outside of Goa was very difficult through offline channels.
In 2008, Astra started marketing its business through digital media and used Google Adwords, Sites and Maps to explore new boundaries of the business. Astra also registered its products in B2B e-commerce websites such as Alibaba, Indiamart, Tradeindia and many others. This gave Astra huge access to markets outside Goa and the business started receiving enquiries from India as well as overseas.
Astra catered to it’s first international client in 2009 and the digital marketing strategy helped the business experience a steep rise in revenue of over 30% YoY.
Today 60% of Astra’s revenue comes from international orders, 30% comes from other states in India and only 10% of the revenue comes from Goa.
In the next five years, Astra Concrete Products aims to achieve a target of INR 100 Crores, mostly tapping the international market.
The awareness platform
Safecity is a platform that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces and aggregates that data as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. Safecity aims to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that may cause behaviour that leads to sexual violence.
Challenges in the journey
Safecity’s biggest challenge was to create awareness for the platform to find solutions and motivate people to share their stories, especially when they were hesitant or not fully aware of their rights and legislations on the topic.
Safecity uses Google Maps and Google Drive to store and track data. It also uses social media marketing to reach diverse audience and has established a strong presence through regular discussions and chats with volunteers. Safecity also engages with its target audience regularly via emailers and newsletters.
Today, 400,000 people have benefited from Safecity and 150,000 users have visited the website till date from all over India.
Safecity has won 25 prestigious awards for its unique platform – Vital Voices – including the Global Leadership Award in the presence of Hillary Clinton in March 2017.
Safecity is now present in six other countries – Kenya, Nepal, Cameroon, Nigeria, USA and Trinidad & Tobago and aims to scale further in the coming years.
#Get Fashion trends on tips
Pipabella.com is an online fashion jewelry store that aims to position jewelry as a fashion accessory that makes a statement.
Pipabella.com started its customer acquisition journey through organic search, and, in 2015 moved to paid channels such as Search, YouTube Ads, AdWords, Google Display Network and other social media ad formats.
With Google AdWords
“For Google AdWords particularly, we decided to take an approach towards more niche categories in jewelry, such as charm bracelets and personalized jewellery, rather than the generic ones.” said Shuchi Pandya, co-founder of Pipabella.com.
Growth in Business
Using digital tools, Pipabella.com has seen an increase in sales by more than 200% over the last 12 months. The cost of acquisition for the business has dropped by 45% and customer base has increased by 60%.
#The power of pen
Company: Pen Pundit
The 360-degree editorial company
Pen Pundit Media Services is a company that works with over 15 writers, graphic designers and subject matter experts to cater to the ever-expanding need for well-curated and well-written online content.
When the company started its operations in 2006 from a small town in Himachal Pradesh, the challenge was to reach out to potential clients based in other cities and states.
Very early, the team realized the value of having a strong digital presence. Within the first two years of their operations, they launched a website and started advertising on Google Search.
Pen Pundit has acquired many big clients in India as well as in the US, and seen an 80% increase in their profits. They have also witnessed 100% growth in sales since the time the business started leveraging digital advertising.
Today, 90% of Pen Pundit’s marketing strategy is inclined towards digital media, and the business aims at expanding its geographical reach using digital as the core medium.
#A dream to transform education
Company: iDream Education
Rohit Prakash’s iDream Education enables tablet-based, interactive learning labs in rural public schools to build a fun and engaging way for students to learn.
Their offering – TABLAB, an interactive learning lab with localized content was launched in May 2016 for the government schools of Gujarat. Since then, they have expanded to four Indian states and content is available in nine languages.
TABLAB has become instrumental in bringing digital literacy to villages, and offers content that’s both offline and online.
Within six months, schools using TABLAB saw an increase in their average daily attendance from 75% to over 95%. Some schools even reported an increase in enrollments. Today, TABLAB is truly transforming the rural education in India with an average usage of 30 to 45 minutes per child.
In the next 5 years, the iDream Education team plans to reach out to all Indian states and have the capability to set-up TABLABs in all Indian languages, to facilitate digital literacy across the country.
The National Winners(in box)
#1. Farida Gupta was recognized under ‘Business Impact Through Digital’.
#2. Shantanu Pathak and Aditya Kulkarni for ‘Impacting Change Through Digital’.
#3. Arpita Ganesh for the ‘Woman Business Leader’.