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Meta reiterates commitment to SMBs, launches "Grow Your Business" Summit

Summit saw emerging businesses from distinct verticals and from small towns and rural India share stories of how they transformed their models using digital tech and Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

Topics
Facebook | SMBs

Neha Alawadhi  |  New Delhi 

Metaverse
Photo: Bloomberg and AP

Meta, the recently rebranded parent company of Facebook, said Tuesday it has strengthened its commitment to small businesses in India by launching the inaugural edition of the ‘Grow Your Business Summit’, an event focused on the growth agenda of the country’s small and medium businesses (SMBs).

The summit saw emerging and small businesses from distinct verticals, and from across the country, including small towns and rural India, attend the event and share their stories of how they transformed their business using digital technologies and Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Meta also announced the launch of "Grow Your Business Hub", a one-stop destination for the micro, small, and medium businesses to find relevant information, tools, and resources curated to cater to their business goals based on their growth stage.

“Small businesses are the engines of growth for India’s economy, and the role of Meta is more important than ever in unlocking growth opportunities for them as many of them move online and use digital to grow. From curated and customized business skilling programmes to launching initiatives that enable working capital for small businesses, we have been building for the growth of India’s with a localized, India-first approach," said Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions, India.

One way Meta benefits from more joining its platforms is building a healthy ecosystem and consumer engagement. "The other of course is, some of these businesses advertise, and that's our revenue. So on both sides, it creates consumer engagement and its revenue for us," said Bhushan.

Some of the small businesses that were showcased at the event are skincare products brand Juicy Chemistry from Coimbatore, Two Brothers Organic Farms from Bhodani, Maharashtra, and Phool from Kanpur, which makes products like incense sticks from floral temple waste.

Globally, more than 300 million active users have liked or are following an active small business page on in India, the firm said at the event launch. Over the past three months, people in India have created more than 1.2 million posts and comments on Instagram to show their support for small businesses and buying local.

Some of the most popular hashtags related to small and local businesses in India are #fashion, #vocalforlocal, and #onlineshopping.

Over the past 90 days, #smallbusiness has been mentioned over 1.4 million times on Instagram, while #smallbusinessindia has been mentioned over half-a-million times and #vocalforlocal over 400,000 times respectively.

More than half-a-million Indian small businesses on Instagram are listing WhatsApp, phone number, or email in their bio, or encouraging potential customers to contact them directly via direct messages, helping them to connect directly with their customers.

Over 45,000 small businesses in India are using Instagram to reach out to international customers by announcing worldwide shipping in their bios. This shows the emerging trend of even small businesses being able to expand their business outside of India.

Social commerce businesses like Meesho and others also help small businesses reach a wider audience through and its apps.

Bhushan said are free to decide how and which Meta platform they want to use and how. For instance, last year, Maruti said its dealers, most of whom are small businesses,used hyperlocal ads for lead generation during the pandemic.

In India, 434 million people access Facebook every month. Of these, 265 million people access Facebook every day. More than 200 million businesses, mostly small businesses use Meta's tools to connect with customers.

Of the 200 million, a significant share of these are in India. More than 15 million WhatsApp for Business app users are based in India. Globally, the company has more than 10 million active advertisers across its services.

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First Published: Tue, November 09 2021. 18:03 IST
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