Google targets Indian business users

14 June 2012

MUMBAI: Google is adopting a multi-faceted growth strategy in India, focusing both on attracting enterprise users and improving its cloud-based and mobile services.

Speaking to Livemint, Rajan Anandan, head of Google India, said the US-owned tech firm was seeking to engage small and large businesses on the subcontinent, as well as optimising Google+, YouTube and its mobile and cloud computing services for local consumers.

Figures cited by Anandan indicate that just 200,000 of India's eight million small firms use packaged business software of any kind, making the enterprise segment a key growth area for the future.

"We want to make India a cloud-first IT market," he added. "Google enterprise solutions and geospatial solutions (including maps and Google Earth) can be customized for enterprises."

The tech firm is also prioritising mobile media, with the number of Indians going online via smartphones likely to rise rapidly over the years to come, due partly to deficiencies in fixed-line infrastructure.

India's general web population numbered around 120m in 2011, of which 20m were mobile-only. Web penetration is expected to rise to 300m by 2014.

Anandan said that Google was adjusting its search service, Gmail and the Google+ social network to improve their mobile compatability. He also hinted that the firm might move into selling handsets and data plans in order to improve Indians' access to the mobile web.

"We need lower-cost [mobile] devices, and the magic point is around Rs 4,000 ($72)," Anandan said. "Globally, we are working with original equipment manufacturers for lower-cost devices and also partnering with carriers to reduce (prices of) 3G data plans.

"In India, we will announce some plans on this front soon."

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff