- Image Credit: Bloomberg
- Google Inc, the global internet search engine, will roll out a number of initiatives that will help local companies, small businesses go online and maximize revenues from the virtual world of internet.
Dubai: If you are planning to start a business now, you might first ‘Google’ it — take it online and monetise the website. That way, you might not have to go through the hassles of actually setting it up physically.
There are plenty of online sources to help you set it up, market it and make money, including Google.
Google Inc, the global internet search engine, will roll out a number of initiatives that will help local companies, small businesses go online and maximise revenues from the virtual world, a senior Google official told Gulf News yesterday.
“These initiatives will be launched soon to enable small businesses to go online and generate revenues,” Mohammed Murad, Google’s regional manager for the Gulf said.
“These could be in the form of online products, tools and we could possibly provide an online platform to the small businesses.”
The initiatives could be launched as early as this year. However, Murad did not give any time frame. “Soon,” he said.
“This is a focus area for Google and we are investing heavily to expand the scale of our operations. And we are hiring a large pool of assets to make that happen.” He said Google has a number of online products that help businesses monetise their web presence through a revenue sharing model with companies online.
Google’s new initiatives are targeted to help companies go online and monitise their websites. “Only 10 per cent of the companies registered in the UAE are online,” Murad said. “This provides huge opportunities for us and the private sector and we want to share our expertise with the companies by helping them monetise their web presence.”
He said his company is open to partnerships with companies. “We want to develop an eco-system for the online business community by forging partnership with companies,” he said.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Director of Business Development, Dubai Internet City, said, “Today, any comment made anywhere in the world can reach millions through Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. With the number of people seeking information online today it is a definite advantage to be in the online space. The rise of social media has enhanced interaction among businesses and end-users. This makes it imperative for businesses to be equipped with knowledge that facilitates the use of social networks and social media and e-commerce activities as a key aspect of their growth.”
According to a study conducted by Econsultancy, a leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and e-commerce, companies in the Middle East and North Africa region are spending 22 per cent of their annual marketing budget on digital.
“This stands as proof that the Middle East has made significant progress in the online arena, making it an extremely powerful channel for business growth,” Al Suwaidi says.
Globally, the number of mobile phone users has crossed five billion – more than the number of people who have access to pure drinking water, while two billion people have internet connections and 35 billion connected devices shared by them, Murad said.
“The internet is exploding. As we speak, four billion searches takes place per day, while three billion YouTube views are registered per day,” he said. “Roughly about six years’ duration of videos are uploaded online everyday.
“The nature of searches has changed. The internet is also changing fast, it is becoming rich, mobile, local and social.”
This year, 85 per cent of the new mobile handsets will be able to access the internet.
Internet City attracts techpreneurs
Dubai Internet City (DIC) is working to help tech entrepreneurs, Majed Al Suwaidi, Director of Business Development, DIC, said. “DIC conducts initiatives, offering a platform for tech entrepreneurs, students, professionals and engineers to demonstrate their concepts to an audience of investors and venture capitalists,” he said.
“The increasing number of submissions every year is a testimony to the abundance of talent and the new breed of entrepreneurs in the region. ”
Mohammad Murad, Google’s regional manager for the Gulf, said the internet is a key driver of economic growth. “[Businesses generated through] the internet contributes 7 per cent to British gross domestic products, while elsewhere, their contributions range between 2-4 per cent.” However, the situation in the Middle East is less impressive, although young men and women have overthrown a government in Egypt by organising a peaceful political movement earlier this year through social network Facebook, initiated by a Google employee.
Google records about 120 million searches per day in the Middle East where 120 million YouTube visits are also recorded per day. About 27 million people in the Middle East are on Facebook, he said.