Why is Facebook Partnering With FICCI To Help Indian SMEs?

An article on Why is Facebook Partnering With FICCI To Help Indian SMEs?


After Google, now it’s Facebook’s turn to target the small and medium scale businesses in India. In a recent development as reported by The Financial Express, Facebook and Federation Of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) have joined hands to boost up the country’s local business sector or Small and Medium business enterprises (SME), which is still a virgin area. The whole initiative is driven to make Facebook for business an easy and effective network to engage with customers online. The initiative will provide educational resources, tutorials on how to build and engage via Facebook brand page and free advertising credit on the Facebook platform. The announcement however gives a broad outline and right now Facebook has not specified the total sum that it intends to invest in the program and how the process would be conducted. Nevertheless, this news comes at a time when Google recently had announced a partnership with Hostgator under the campaign called India Get Your Business Online. The initiative was designed to offer free website, domain and hosting services to the SME’s in India.

But why is Facebook targeting SME’s in India?

1. We know that Facebook is the biggest social network in India and to add to that, we now rank second in terms of users globally. This also means that it gives more avenues for business to engage with their customers online. Facebook, which recently launched its new brand pages with the timeline feature, wants to reach out and tap into the SME market, which has still not been ventured much.

2. The filing of Facebook’s IPO now makes it even more necessary and as reported last year Facebook had made $3.154 billion in 2011 via advertising which it wants to grow in a land that has been dominated by Google so far. The idea is to show the real values of its features with these free schemes and tap in customers for a longer duration through Facebook.

3. Today if you go and talk to any SME, everyone wants to be on Facebook since it is the craze and everyone thinks that it is one more way of making money. There is no doubt that Facebook Marketing is one aspect but for that, one should be aware of effective usage and engaging meaningfully with customers. Now who can teach this better than Facebook. In a time, when individual training centers are charging a bomb, Facebook coming up with free schemes is really cheerful news for SME’s!

4. Finally, it considers Google as its competitor. This move sure gives a stiff fight.

Facebook has made a smart move and I am sure with the given times and craze of Facebook, there would be many takers for such moves  However the challenge is how does Facebook take it further and implement it. If it is going to limit itself only to the Tier 1 cities, then it will just be scratching the surface. The real business that needs to be explored lies in Tier2 and Tier3 cities.

Sometime back I had interviewed the Founders of Consumyze, which is working at the grass root level with the SME’s in Pune. The point that these guys highlighted was lack of education and proper guidance to SMEs. In addition to this, I think this would be an opportunity for a lot of brands to know the nitty-gritty of Facebook guidelines, which is either misunderstood or ignored.

I think it is a good news for the Indian SME business and let me take a bet - next would be Google Plus!