Facebook India to Expand Investments in SMEs

Expanding its investments in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)s in India, the social media giant, Facebook, on Monday launched a series of small business boost events which will be held throughout the year across India. Kicking off the series with the first event in Hyderabad, Facebook announced it would organise several of such events in different cities.

The initiative would help SMEs to promote their brands and products through Facebook pages and boost their business. Ankhi Das, Facebook India’s Director of Public Policy, said “This is the beginning of creating a community for SMEs. This model was earlier implemented in the US and drew impressive results in promoting various brands.”

Inaugurating the event, IT minister KT Rama Rao said the social media’s outreach is now challenging the traditional media’s outreach. “I was told, Facebook has around 125 million followers in India. I don’t think any other media has that kind of outreach in our country,” he said.

The minister, who also interacted with some of the successful businesspersons that used Facebook to promote their business, claimed the Telangana government is also making a good use of Facebook to reach common people. Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s official Facebook page has the highest number of followers than the CM of any other state, he said.

Ritesh Mehta, head of economic growth initiatives for Facebook India, who held an interactive session with delegates of around 300 SMEs, said nearly 45 percent of the internet users in India use Facebook. Around 114 million of them are using their mobile phones to access it.

Every user opens his Facebook account at least 14 times in a single day. These numbers are enough to prove the amount of promotion can be done through Facebook pages. ‘’This is the reason, we are inviting SMEs to collaborate with us to reach their customers quickly and easily,’’ he said.

Mehta further said that several SMEs in Telangana have already achieved huge publicity for their products exclusively by using Facebook page. Kalpana Rajesh, founder of an online wedding accessories does her entire promotion only through Facebook. Without spending any money on advertising, she could expand her business to 36 cities across India and now has 200 employees working for her, he added.

TS to Open FB Accounts for 8,500 Villages

After opening Facebook accounts for various ministries and government departments, the state government is planning to have similar accounts for villages as well. IT minister K T Rama Rao said “We have a plan to open Facebook accounts for 8,500 villages across the state. In the first phase, we will launch accounts for 750 villages on the eve of Gandhi Jayanthi and later expand it.” He said these accounts would help the government to reach out to people and know their problems. There is also a proposal to introduce online payment to donate money for the development of villages, he added.

Source: The New Indian Express

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