‘We aim to make the Internet relevant for small businesses’

‘We aim to make the Internet relevant for small businesses’

By Taru Bhatia | | 23 September, 2017
Nikhil Arora, GoDaddy India, SMBs, National Internet Exchange of India,  GDP, Website Builder, SEO
Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India.
GoDaddy is the world’s largest web-hosting company dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses as well as to independent ventures. Guardian 20 speaks to Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India, about the company’s performance in the Indian market, and its growth strategy for the future.
GoDaddy is the world’s largest web-hosting company dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses as well as to independent ventures. Guardian 20 speaks to Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India, about the company’s performance in the Indian market, and its growth strategy for the future.

Q. Could you tell our readers more GoDaddy’s business vision, and about the various products developed by the brand?

A. GoDaddy is the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses and independent ventures. At GoDaddy, our vision is to shift the global economy towards small businesses by providing an online platform to help them easily start and successfully run their own ventures. Supporting our customers in India, and being available to help them 24/7 in their local language, as they create an online presence for their business, have been key elements of our value proposition.

We understand that customers today want end-to-end solutions from their technology providers. GoDaddy helps small businesses build a unique digital identity. We offer a complete suite of integrated web solutions spanning domain registration, hosting, website building, marketing tools and aftermarket services. We also offer easy-to-use and affordable design tools to help customers create a website with little technological experience.

Q. In India, most small businesses still don’t have an online presence. So how do you plan to tap into this market where the online space is yet evolving?

A. India currently has over 460 million internet users and approximately five million domain names, and even lesser websites. This represents a huge opportunity for growth for us. However, for many small businesses, buying a domain name, setting up a website and selling online is perceived to be complex and something that requires professional help, especially in a country like India, which is largely a “do-it-for-me” country. At GoDaddy India, our aim is to help make the internet relevant for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and people looking to take their venture online. Our strategy has been to educate customers that buying a domain name and establishing a compelling online presence can help them be found by potential customers.  The company is also differentiated by the fact that its business model is built to help small businesses and entrepreneurs create, maintain and grow their ventures online. Given the fact that India has one of the largest numbers of SMBs (small and mid-sized businesses), which form the backbone of the economy, we believe India provides a growth opportunity.

Q. What is GoDaddy’s business strategy in India?

A. India is a strategic market for GoDaddy and has been a cornerstone of our international expansion. When we decided to take GoDaddy beyond the US boundaries in 2012, India was the first country we chose to enter because of the unprecedented growth in India’s Internet use. Today, GoDaddy enjoys a strong leadership position in India. GoDaddy is the number one registrar for .IN domain names with over 33% of the total market share, according to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). We get over 4,000 calls per day at our India customer-care centre. This is testimony to the fact that there is an increased level of interest among Indians to create a digital presence for their businesses using GoDaddy and its related services. Our go-to-market strategy for India is driven by the unique challenges the market presents.

Q. What are your perspectives on the SMB ecosystem and on Internet penetration in India?

A. With a workforce of over 117 million, SMBs form the backbone of our economy. However, the market dynamics in India are interesting.  Despite impressive growth in Internet penetration (with 460 million Internet users), SMBs in India have been surprisingly sluggish when it comes to leveraging the Internet. India is home to over 51 million small businesses, which account for more than 37% of our country’s GDP. However, according to a study by the advisory firm Zinnov, only 20% of Indian SMBs (about 10 million) are considered technology-ready. By all accounts, this is set to change in the next few years and we are going to see more and more people across India coming online over the next few years.

Q. How has the government’s Digital India initiative impacted the industry scenario?

A. Today, we are witnessing rapid changes in the macro-economic environment of the country. Rising consumption, lowering internet data rates, increasing connectivity through physical and digital infrastructure, among other things, are all helping the growth of the SMB ecosystem. With these changes, we believe India is poised to witness significant growth in both the number of and contributions made by SMBs. Additionally, the growth of India’s internet and initiatives such as Digital India are intrinsically linked to millions of small businesses coming online and leveraging technology to help drive business growth.

Q. GoDaddy recently launched its new “Website Builder”, for anyone who wants to establish an online presence for their business. Could you tell us more about it?

A. GoDaddy’s new Website Builder combines a mobile-friendly website builder with an integrated set of online marketing and e-commerce tools to help people create and manage a digital presence for their idea or business. Not only can you create a website in under an hour, even on a mobile device, it gives you the tools to get your website found with SEO (search engine optimisation), email marketing, and social media integration to help small business owners drive results. Website Builder also features GoDaddy’s smart-learning system that surfaces insights and actions to help you achieve your goals throughout your business journey. The most exciting part is that it lets you easily create and publish your website from your smartphone. No desktop or laptop device is required, making it really easy for people to have a professional online identity easily and quickly.

 

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