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Facebook Increases its Investment in Indian Small Businesses

Helping to advance Digital India and boost small business growth

17 August 2015, Mumbai: Facebook India is expanding its investments in small businesses in India with the first of many Small Business Boost events happening across the country this year. Helping to advance the government’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skills India’ vision, Facebook’s Small Business Boost program has been designed to arm Indian businesses with the knowledge, skills and technology required to stay innovative and connect with customers at home and abroad.

In support of Facebook’s Small Business Boost program, the IT Minister of Telangana, Mr. K T Rama Rao will co-host and kick-off the first event in Hyderabad.

Mr. K T Rama Rao, IT Minister of Telangana, said: In India there are more than 36 million SMEs, who provide employment to 80 million people and form the backbone of the Indian economy. As people spend more time plugged into their smart phones and on the Internet, these small businesses have a unique opportunity to capture new audiences, increase sales and grow by using social media. Facebook’s Small Business Boost events will serve as a tremendous resource for these businesses as experts and small business themselves offer training on best practices for growing a small business online.

Ritesh Mehta, Head of Economic Growth Initiatives for Facebook India, said: There are 1.49 billion people on Facebook, which is half of the estimated three billion people who use the internet worldwide. That s a compelling audience for a small business who is looking to find new customers, deepen relationships with existing customers and boost sales. More than 1.5 million small businesses in India are already using Facebook Pages to take advantage of this community to grow their customer reach.

India is a priority market for Facebook and this program is just part of our continued investment in Indian small businesses, developers and 125 million Indians who use Facebook. We already contribute US $4 billion and 335,000 jobs to India through our marketing, platform and connectivity efforts (2015 Deloitte report). These events will help provide small businesses with the technology and resources required to connect with new customers and generate sales in a measurable way.

 At these events, attendees will engage with a broad selection of small business peers and Facebook experts to learn and share their experiences of growing an online business in today s global economy. Hands-on training sessions will include how to effectively use mobile; reach international audiences; and boost your brand online. The small business panel will feature Pelli Poola Jada, The Chocolate Heaven and Doctor C.

 Kalpana Rajesh, founder of Pelli Poola Jada, an online wedding accessories retailer in India, said:  We started out in 2013 with three women making and selling bridal hair accessories. 3 years later we now employ around 200 women across 36 branches from Delhi to Tuticorin and have multiple product lines. This success is all thanks to Facebook, without Facebook’s support, we would not have been able to grow our product line, customer base and revenues at such a rapid pace. For small businesses, there is nothing more powerful than being able to reach new customers at scale. Facebook is making a real difference to small businesses in India and to our local economy.

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PRESS RELEASE

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira is an Indian journalist and editor based in Mumbai. He is Editor-in-Chief of Digital Creed, which he founded in 2015. A technology buff, former computer instructor, and software developer, Brian has 27 years of journalism experience (since 1994). He is sound and confident about his knowledge of business technology concepts. And he is a believer in continual education/learning. Brian is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines (India). He has written hundreds of technology articles for India's leading newspaper groups such as The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers (among others). And he has conducted more than 300 industry interviews during his journalism career. Brian also writes on Aviation, cybersecurity, startups, and topics directed at small and medium businesses. He achieved certifications from the EC-Council (Certified Secure Computer User) and from IBM (Basics of Cloud Computing). Apart from those, he has successfully completed many courses on Content Marketing and Business Writing. Follow Brian on Twitter (@creed_digital) and LinkedIn.

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