DELHI, INDIA – The ResellerClub Hosting Summit kicked off with an informative talk by Manish Dalal, the vice president and head of Verisign Asia. Dalal, also an Angel Investor, spoke about the importance of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) in India.
India has one of the largest number of SMBs today. Out of the 47 million SMBs (which is made up primarily of 41 percent retail and 37 percent manufacturing), 30 million are micro businesses and 16 million contribute to a small business.
“99 percent of the Indian firms are SMBs,” he said.
These SMBs are the major contributors towards the country’s economy and GDP. Dalal also went on to speak on how web presence was a necessity for all of these SMBs.
In a study by Verisign, it was concluded that 1.1 million SMBs have their own domains but the majority still didn’t feel the need to have a website since they lacked internal expertise or felt they didn’t know the right people to help them get one. As a consequence, SMBs are not aware of the power of having a web presence.
Continuing with the survey, VeriSign queried SMBs if they would want to have a website of their own, to which 50 percent of SMBs in India answered in affirmative. 90 percent of these SMBs said they would want to have their own email accounts, that is, one relevant and linked to their own domain, and did not want to rely on the generic email services that are provided in abundance (by Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)
“It’s Time You Evangelize”
Dalal focused primarily on the lack of evangelism happening across India in regards to the importance of having an identity on the web. Big players like GoDaddy and Hostgator already coming to India has led to the rapid introduction of value added services. He stressed that providing value added services would be the right way to get SMBs online. He gave examples of the services Verisign offers to their registrars and they in turn provide it to their resellers.
Examples include Mobile View, which targets people who want to have a mobile website, domain name suggestions that is now localized for India, applications that allow people to understand the domain space better, and solutions for malware detection and scanning.
In addition to this he also gave examples of how India’s leading web presence provider, Big Rock, has teamed up with Dell to provide web products and services that will help them build an online presence; the initiative powered by Google, called India Get Online, with a motive of getting Indian businesses online by helping them make professional websites easily.
“You Have an Added Advantage”
Dalal said that India should gain on the advantage of having local customers. This proximity is a bonus and he also considers eventual offline payments as an added advantage. Marketing to such customers would not be an additional hassle to the resellers as they know their audience well.
He stressed more on the fact that they should invest more in marketing solutions and value added services by creating offerings so as to make it easier for the SMBs.
Dalal concluded his presentation by urging every reseller to motivate their customers to have a web presence as it was high time they got identified online, and that the biggest growth opportunity lies ahead for India.