Facebook announces first SME India Council in Asia Pacific

Facebook has announced the first ever SME India Council in Asia-Pacific designed especially for 12 small enterprises from various geographies of India. This endeavor aims towards growth by discussing ideas of business locally and regionally across the country.

Before India, Facebook had organized the first SME Council in the US. Facebook pages are actively used by more than 45 million small enterprises to connect with consumers.

The SME India Council will meet a couple of times in the coming months to brainstorm progress on solutions, discuss business ideas, successes and challenges.

India has 2 million SME pages as of October 2015. 1.5 million small business pages were announced in August 2015.

In a post, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said,”There’s nothing small about small business, especially in India, one of the world’s most important economies. Small and medium enterprises drive 40 per cent of India’s exports.”

57% of people on Facebook in India are connected to at least one small business.

“There are more than two million small businesses in India with active Facebook pages. We want to help these and all businesses grow by connecting them to customers across the globe,” she added. A group of leaders from different industries will meet Facebook team and help understand how the social media company can better serve the businesses that are creating jobs and opportunities for the people across India, Sandberg added.

+1.99 billion interactions are generated between businesses and people in India.

“Small businesses are the backbone of India’s economy. From kirana stores to restaurants and online clothing sites, these businesses drive economic growth, create new jobs and enrich the lives of people across the country,” Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy told PTI.

Facebook is focussed on helping people connect, including giving them access to the Internet, and assisting businesses to grow, she added.

“To help businesses better connect with the people they care about, we are excited to announce the first SME India Council in Asia-Pacific. The new council is a group of small business from various industries and geographies in India,” Reddy said.

Amruta Walvekar – Director, Wrapistry, Anaka Narayanan – Director, Brass Tacks, Anitha Nayak – Founder, Floured, Gautam Ivatury – Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, MeraDoctor, Hema Balakrishnan – Founder, Color D Earth, Kalpana Rajesh – Director, Pelli Poola Jada, Maya Chandrasekaran – Chief of Talent, Babajob.com, Nivedha Charles – Founder, Pigtails and Ponys, Nivedita Mummadi – Co-founder, Dirty Feet, R Balakrishnan – Co-founder and Director, GIO Adventures, Sarvesh Agrawal – Founder and CEO, Internshala, Vivek Iyer – Co-founder, English Dost will be a part of the council.

Some SMEs that have spoken about their success stories by leveraging Facebook, including Bewakoof which is a first internet affordable fashion brand catering to youngsters across the country.

Chumbak sells everything from souvenirs to tech accessories, jewellery and apparel and finally The Birthplace is a boutique maternity hospital catering to big shot pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and their 60% customers come from Facebook.

The social media giant has 1.55 billion users across the globe and after The United States, India has the second largest base of Facebook and out of the 138 million Facebook users (90% on mobile) in the country, more than half are associated to at least one small business in the country.