To grow business online SMEs must embrace technology, start with small: VP & MD, GoDaddy India
Saurabh Gupta | 04 Oct, 2017
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The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India have to embrace
technology and start with small amount to grow their business online,
Vice-President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India, Nikhil Arora told in an exclusive interview to
He said, "GoDaddy
powers the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small,
independent ventures. Our mission is to give our customers the tools,
insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative
Excerpts of the interview...Lets start with GoDaddy and its latest launch 'GoDaddy Business Hosting'.
Nikhil Arora: We are world's largest small business platform. Today
we have about 71 million domains under management and over 17 million
small business customers and independent ventures worldwide. In India we
are today at over 750,000 customers and we have over 30 percent market share in the .in domain world.
mission of GoDaddy Inc. is to shift the global economy towards
independent ventures and small business. So essentially we want small
business/ independent ventures to easily start, confidentially grow and
successfully run their business. Ultimately that's the segment we focus
and always focus on. In India it's the same we focus on micro, small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) and really want to help them in their journey
to become digital and to make their online presence. In terms of
product portfolio, we starts from domains, then we have website
builders, then we have hosting products, then productivity tools like
emails, some office products and then some security products like SSL
We started here (India) in 2012, just from a 5 year base, from about 40 care agents, today we have about 700 care agents. We used to get probably 30-40 calls per day, today
we are getting 4000 calls a day and i.e. 160 conversation happening
every hour or you can say having 3 conversation in every minute. As we
had introduces chat also, so we had over 300,000 chat conversation.
customer care centres play a very big part in helping and educating our
customers. GoDaddy is the world's largest technology provider dedicated
to small businesses.
What strategy we follow...first
one is awareness, but awareness is all driven towards the benefits of
going online and how does it help you. Then we have the customer care —
which really is more of a hand holding tool to help our customers get
started, use the products and then after sales services. Third is
ecosystem — which is how do we leverage India ecosystem especially you
have web developers, web pros and then resellers. Lastly is relevance
and relevance is around localization i.e. we work in four regional
languages of India and our care centre talks in six languages, which
primarily covers about 60-70 percent market of India. So these are the
four pillars of our strategy.
Despite the simplified and easy-to-use cPanel, if some one (SME) requires technical help?
Nikhil Arora: We
have our customer care centre, which is 24X7 for almost all kind of
technical and internal supports. We have trained specialists as part of
that care centre. What we don't do is like we don't go to the site of
the customer but most of the stuff is resolved through calls and also
since many of the small businesses have web pros as their web managers
so those guys call us and they pass it back to small businesses. One of
the big initiative, which we have launched, is customer engagement
programme. In that we actually going out and visiting customers
personally in their premises. And the intent of that is we want to go
into the customer's environment and want to understand the problems both
they articulate and they not articulate. Because when we want to
develop our product we want to understand what are the constrains that
SMEs are working in. We take real time feedback and I don't think many
companies do these types of programme. Our intent of this programme is
to get customer's feedback but also help these customers promote
themselves. So we are putting out their testimonials, case study and
helping them through different campaigns.
GoDaddy is dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in India. Why SMEs?
Nikhil Arora: First,
Godaddy was founded on the premise that it will serve the independent
and small business because that is probably the largest business segment
in the world and perhaps the most under served because most of the
products are catered to large enterprise. It is probably the hardest
segment to crack because there are lot of in-depth high-tech connection
needed with customers. So GoDaddy was founded on that premise that we
want to basically help SMEs so that they can easily start,
confidentially grow and successfully run their entrepreneur. Secondly if
you look at India, there are about 51 million SMEs and less then 20
percent have penetrated the internet. So runway is huge -- the market
opportunity and as India gets more and more digitization I thing for
GoDaddy that is a great opportunity using the strengths we have and also
helping in digitization of India.
How many SMEs in India have their own website? Do you have some facts or sector analysis of SMEs in India? Please share.
Nikhil Arora: From
public sources, we know that there are about million websites in India
and there are roughly about 6 million domains. Also there are hybrids
where people are going on social media despite have website. So there
are multiple models are coming. But what we know for sure is the SMEs
which have gone online they tend to grow and profitable two times then
the person doesn't do. Different surveys has been done that the
profitability of a business, who is digital, is twise the businesses
those are not digital. And that make sense because you have scale, you
have reach and obviously you have in more productive tools.
had conducted a study on SMEs last year called 'Future of Work' survey,
a global study that delves into entrepreneurial intent, attitudes and
outlook when considering starting or running a small business. 60
percent of the approximately 1,200 respondents in India, currently
working in small or mid-sized organizations; plan to be entrepreneurs
over the next 10 years. Interestingly, the proportion of those wanting
to start their own business is significantly higher in India when
compared to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Turkey,
Singapore, the United States and United Kingdom.
remarkable 85 percent of aspiring and current entrepreneurs in India say
that they are undeterred at the prospect of failure and are relentless
in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success.
According to that:
70% of respondents in India mentioned that they were either employed or
working when they decided to start their own business vs. developed
economies where respondents chose entrepreneurship by choice or while
they were in college and completing their graduate programs
Experience triumphs education when it comes to gaining the right skills
to be an entrepreneur. Close to half of the respondents (45%) say that
work experience is most valuable, while only 12% believe education gets
them ready to become an entrepreneur
- 79% of the surveyed workforce believe technology has made it easier to become an entrepreneur in today’s time
Around 63% of the future entrepreneurs believe in following their
parents’ footsteps to start their own businesses and admire the hard
work put in by their parents
- 62% want their business to internationalize and have global customers
Some SMEs belief that they are doing good with whatsapp and facebook. Why having a website is must for them?
Nikhil Arora: We
kind of grounded ourselves on three pillars, Awareness, Accessibility
and Affordability. So awareness is all around in our marketing
campaigns. Our ads like 'Internet Ko Kaam Pe Lagao' was all based on
helping them (SMEs) understand what happen when you go online, what new
things can you achieve when you go online. So when you have the
awareness, you obviously use other tools too. And whatsapp and all are
good tools but to have your own stand alone presence, you have to have
your own unique identity. It is like renting in a room or having your
own house. So we try to explain it in a very simple way that having your
own digital identity is as simple as having your own physical identity.
Then once that platform (social media etc) decides to do something
different you are like captive of that. Having your own website is
having your own control so you can do different things. You can change,
adapt as the market changes. And its not as expensive as the perception
is. We brake it down. Today
with one of our product you can start with Rs. 250. So I think making
them (SMEs) aware about the benefits and also affordability really help
them to understand this.
You said 'Internet Ko Kaam Pe Lagao' but how internet will work unless they get good placing on search engines?
Nikhil Arora: We
have different tools and products which are helping our customers in
both, how to organically show up better and then pay it. So as part of
it, we tells what kind of content you use so you organically show up,
which is the cheapest way. And then on paid site we provide kind of
tools and making them aware about the paid model. We are trying to
educate them around what kind of template should you built to make the
chances of getting higher online traffic.
Your hosting platform is fully optimized for high-traffic websites, e-commerce and resource-heavy websites. Please elaborate.
Nikhil Arora: As
part of our customer engagement programme, we came up with this
product. Many of small business don't have dedicated technology or right
IT person so they start up with shared hosting product but as they grow
the traffic starts coming in, they place more videos on it, have more
pictures on it and more stuff needs more storage then going to private
server is a bit expensive and also need technical expertise. So this
business hosting product is basically an easy migration from a startup
business to grownup business. And what it dose is very simple like
through just one click you can migrate all the stuff you have on shared
hosting. So it is simple and don't need technical expertise. We have
three versions of products. We have products for small, medium and for
large businesses as well and same time it is very easy to switch from
small to large package. So I think it fits with SME segment very well.
There are few things like SSL certificate, Website Security Essential
malware scanning & removal are free for first year. Then after what
will be the charges?
Nikhil Arora: Even today
our SSL products are fairly cost efficient. Security features are must,
nowadays numbers of hacking tricks are coming through and one can lose
stuff overnight. This is such a small investment that is starts from Rs.
99 and our intent is to bring small business online and then migrate
over time to high end products. So that's why our pricing is very much
focused on adoption, education and usability.
From domain booking to website builder and now hosting platform, what next?
Nikhil Arora: Yes
we have domain, website builder, hosting and then productivity tools
like business emails, SSL etc. so as part of our strategic road map we
are looking and we are talking to customers to say what are the kinds of
job can we solve for them, which are our competency. This is the
product road map, which is kind of being devised and refreshed every
year. We are going through that process so towards the end of the year
we will be able to come up with one or two next products.
Also Mobile is big space, as today
in India close to a billion people are on mobile, especially in tear 2
and tear 3 towns. It is like mobile first so we will also look at mobile
friendly technology. The mobile space is such as we either make our
existing products more mobile friendly or have new products before it
becomes mobile only. I think now its like 'mobile + online' because
mobile its own can not solve every thing and online its own can not
solve every thing. So I think the whole mobile online space would
definitely kind of portfolio of segment where we look at in future.
What will be your message to SMEs?
Nikhil Arora: There
is always a fear of change. When you are not online the technology is
seems to be very complicated, second SMEs think that how its going to
happened. So first of all, embrace technology and start small. No need
to kind of go too big and too complicated. SMEs have to embrace
technology and start small. Becoming online is always like start with
online identity. As you evolved then reach out to players like us
because we have big care centers and have big education awareness focus.
And I think with government's 'Digital India' push there is even more
stuff happening. Also talk to peer and look at the case studies of your
peer who have embrace technology and what's happened to them.
embrace technology, start small, look at to your peer and partners with
players like us because we are here to really be in the journey. Our
job is to fall in love with our customers' problems.
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