Google India aims to bring 50 million women online
NEW DELHI: With women comprising just 30 per cent of the online population in India, Internet giant Google today said it aims to help 50 million women in the country go digital in a year.
“India has over 200 million Internet users and the number is growing. India is on its way to become the second largest Internet market overtaking US. But, only one-third or about 60 million of the online users are women,” Google India MD Rajan Anandan told reporters here.
Internet can play a very important role in empowering women in India and help them to transform their lives, he added.
“Internet can help women achieve self esteem, express their views freely, open up new opportunities and help them to gain education. Our new campaign aims to bring 50 million women online in the next one year so that they can reap the benefits too,” Anandan said.
According to industry estimates, the number of Internet users in the country is expected to touch 280 million in the next one year.
Google India has partnered HUL, Axis Bank and Intel as part of the campaign.
“Along with our partners, we will create awareness about the benefits of Internet for women, educate them to use Internet to improve their lives and enable easy access points across the country,” Anandan said.
Google has designed a website ‘www.hwgo.com’, which will host content covering the basics of Internet and content relevant for women in Hindi and English.
The company has also started a toll free helpline number ‘1800 41 999 77’ to help women get answers for their Internet-related queries.
What’s in it for partners?
The company has currently partnered with brands like Shaadi.com, Johnson & Johnson, Healthkart, babyoye, among others for this campaign. Interested brands can apply on the website to become partners. Partners can either support by training women, providing access points or helping spread awareness about the campaign. Interestingly, the information section features articles from partner websites.
It is a well-thought out move to provide information on different topics of interest since first time Internet users are more likely to consume information than do anything else on the Internet. Essentially, this also means that partner websites will get more visibility over other providers of similar services on the Internet. This could be good exposure and branding exercise for the partners.
What’s in for Google? Bringing 50 million additional women users online would also mean that Google, like traditional media, is trying to target the most sought out user segment by advertisers. With more women users online, Google’s ad revenue is likely to increase considerably. Once more women come online, advertisers are also likely to benefit from the targeting options and analytics that Google offers. Traditional media only offers exposure to women audiences, however does not provide in-depth analytics like Google.
Simultaneously, to cater to the growing Internet users, Google has also been encouraging businesses to come online through its different initiatives like its product listing ads initiative launched in March 2013, Google Business Photos program that was extended to India in February 2013, ‘Lets Talk Mo initiative to create mobile sites for businesses, Great Online Shopping Festival that happened in December 2012, free websites for SMEs, among others. Google seems to be working to create the demand and the supply to fulfill the demand.
Source: ET and and Media NAMA