Facebook powering small business to access markets, says India head


NEW DELHI: Social networking giant Facebook is powering small business across the country by providing tools on its platforms to access markets, which otherwise can’t find the supply chain and infrastructure to do so.

“As many as six million businesses are live on Facebook in India today. We are the internet for small business because, for them creating a page costs nothing but our agenda is taking this economic possibility of providing marketing and access to people,” Sandeep Bhushan, head of India GMS at Facebook, said at the Economic Times Global Business Summit on Saturday.

Bhushan explained how as many as 75-80% of these 6 million businesses reported increase in customers owing to their presence on Facebook’s platforms. “More than half tell us they added a job or two,” Bhushan said.

Explaining how creating use cases was a crucial step for mass scale digital adoption, Bhushan said, “When we build Whatsapp for the cheapest smart feature phone, the idea is to get the depth of the access and thus create use cases,” he said.

Drawing an example, he explained, there were 50 to 60 million businesses in the country, but one hears of only about 15 million of them being digitally active.

“If you now flip the question and say how many of them have a Whatsapp account? The idea is to take the internet to them rather they coming to internet and therefore when we build an app, lets say Whatsapp today, the idea is to build the most basic app which lets you do CRM, the app today is live,” he explained. “That is the point of taking internet to folks where the use cases matter and not wait for them to come into the internet”.

Speaking about India, Bhushan said Facebook was optimistic about its business in the country. “We are optimistic about India because of three things progressing. Firstly, infrastructure, both private and government. Second, of the whole government agenda around Digital India, and third, due to partners like us who build on top of that and create services,” he ended.