New Delhi: About 2500 businesses in India’s well known market, Chandni Chowk, Delhi have their own websites now. It is one of the oldest markets in India built by Mughal rulers centuries ago. The websites were built by Hostgator,the leading Indian web hosting company in association with Google as part of a program called “India Get Your Business Online” launched in November 2011.The program offers free websites and domains to small business owners in India.
Most of the small businesses in India do not have a website and hence Google’s new initiative is to bring them online to increase their business. Google India Vice President Rajan Anandan said that in India there were 137 million internet users and great majority of them look online for various information. Only few small businesses have a decent looking website, he added.
Under the present scheme, Google provides a domain name, a website and free hosting for one year. The free hosting is given by Hostgator, its hosting partner. The websites will be integrated with Google Maps by which the businesses will be listed under various categories. After one year, an amount of 700 Indian rupees as hosting fees will be charged by Google to continue the service.
A common directory of businesses in Chandni Chouk, http://www.chandnichowknowonline.in has also been launched in addition to individual websites. The directory offers a main search bar for browsing shops and businesses in the home page. It also gives business owner’s name, address, contact number and link to the business website.
According to Pradeep Jain, Kinari Bazaar Gota Zari Association of Chandni Chowk, the initiative by Google would make it easier for customers to find them online. He added that the place was a hub of product suppliers, exporters, wholesalers and many other medium sized shops in north India. Most of them have been operating there for over hundred years. The communication and IT minister of India, Kapil Sibal also said that the move would help those business owners increase their business.