Tech giant Google has announced a partnership with the Small Industries Development Bank of India to launch a financial assistance program for businesses. The announcement came at Google’s annual event for the South Asian market, and the company will be offering micro-credit options to small and medium-sized Indian businesses through the $15 million financial assistance program it plans to launch.
According to Google, the loan will be distributed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India and will range from 25 lakhs Indian rupees ($33,728) to 1 crore Indian rupees ($135,000). According to Shalini Puchalapalli, the Director of Customer Solutions at Google India, who spoke at the annual event, businesses who qualify for the loans will use the loan to buy new equipment and machines needed to take their businesses to the next level, improve their production infrastructure and to achieve their working capital requirements. “With today’s announcement, we believe that working with the broader ecosystem we can drive a wide-ranging positive social impact. We also hope that this will encourage more organizations to invest in public-private partnerships and further strengthen our economy”, she said.
Apart from making loans available to these businesses, she also mentioned that the program will place priority on businesses owned by women and those that engage in producing equipment that can bolster the country’s fight against the still-raging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the program at the event, Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI, said that “Today, we feel proud that SIDBl’s efforts in reviving the sector are backed by a strong collaboration with Google”. The program launched in partnership with the SIDBI is aimed at helping businesses scale their operations, have access to credit facilities and be equipped in their fight against the effects of the pandemic.
Google isn’t the first big tech company to launch this kind of program in the South Asian market. In August, Facebook – now Meta- launched a program aimed at providing small and medium-sized businesses with loans ranging from 500,000 Indian rupees ($6,720) to 50,000,000 ($67,200), at an interest rate of 17 to 20 percent yearly.
Earlier this month, Google announced a three-month-long virtual accelerator program for African startups and has started receiving applications. Startups that wish to participate in the 7th edition of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa Program can apply here starting now. The application ends on the 14th of January, 2022.