A few weeks ago we learned that Google and global web hosting provider HostGator were teaming up to provide free services to India’s small businesses. On the heels of the announcement HostGator Chief Marketing Officer Taylor Hawkes recently addressed the partnership in a Q&A session with Web Host Industry Review. The interview revealed the scope of the two company’s partnership and how it can be parlayed into a successful business model in India.
According to Hawkes, statistics indicate that only about 4% of India’s 10 million small businesses use a website in one way or another. Of the 400,000 businesses that do use websites, only about a quarter of them regularly update and maintain them. By offering free web hosting and support services, Google and HostGator hope to turn those trends around for the better.
Hawkes also commented on his company’s position in being an effective player in the Indian market. He noted that smaller web hosters would find it difficult to offer free services because of their overhead costs. On the other hand, a web hosting giant like HostGator can afford to do so because their size allows them to absorb the costs.
HostGator and Google have worked together in the past in promoting the businesses of millions of companies online. Hawkes hopes that the new effort in India will spark the same kind of interest in that country in order to change the online business landscape.
According to the official announcement made several weeks ago, Google will be taking the larger financial risk with HostGator offering mostly help desk and support services. Both companies have declined to say how long the agreement is slated to last. If they can succeed in moving Indian companies to the online business model, it will end up being beneficial to both sides.