Digital presence has become a form of necessity for small and medium scale businesses to grow. The requirement of skilled web designers and developers is high. Nikhil Arora, managing director and vice president, GoDaddy India, explains to Rahul Chopra, editor, electronicsforu.com network, how they are aiding the SME and developer community of India with their digital solutions, and in turn, strengthening their presence in the country.
Q. GoDaddy is primarily a web hosting firm targeting SMEs and their business decision makers, so why engage software and web developers? Why are they important to you?
A. For many small businesses in India, buying a domain name, setting up a website and selling online is perceived to be too complex and something that requires ‘professional’ help. In this Do-it-for-me (DIFM) market like India, the next wave of small businesses will rely heavily on web designers and developers to help them put their ideas into action. The country’s web professionals’ community is a sizable number and growing considerably at a rapid pace, with increasingly more businesses jumping on the internet bandwagon.
Having realized the current state of affairs, we, at GoDaddy, are focused on supporting the growth of our partner ecosystem – web professionals and local re-sellers – by providing them with the right online tools, platform and solutions to manage their businesses and help their customers grow online.
One of our efforts in this direction is the sponsorship of WordCamps across countries. Additionally, The GoDaddy Pro Program, launched in 2015, is designed specifically to enable web professionals with the right tools, knowledge, and support, to help them create and manage an effective digital presence for their small business clients. Our strong focus and commitment to empowering web communities, is also reflected in our localized marketing campaigns, regular meet-ups, and customer forums, including the recently hosted CloudFest India 2018 and GoDaddy Customer Day in Mumbai.
Q. With a lot of activity happening in the IAAS and PAAS space, vanilla web hosting seems to be going in the background. What’s GoDaddy’s stand on this trend? What’s your strategy to counter and/or benefit from it?
A. GoDaddy announced earlier this year that it is migrating the vast majority of its infrastructure as part of a multi-year transition over to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
GoDaddy will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS services—including machine learning, analytics, databases, and containers—to meet the needs of its customer growth around the world.
Q. How’s India developing for GoDaddy? How does it stack in your global scheme of things w.r.t. revenue?
A. We expect one-third of Indian small businesses to be online by 2022, and we aspire to play a major role in helping these businesses bring their ideas online. GoDaddy has been in India for over six years now with one million customers who have created their online presence with us. In this way, we are making significant contributions towards supporting the country’s Digital India initiative.
We have carefully designed our India strategy, keeping in mind the wide and diverse customer base. Our approach in the country has three pillars:-
Firstly, we aim to be a trusted long-term partner to small businesses and independent ventures and those who enable them (web professionals and resellers). A major intention is to build awareness of online adoption among our partner ecosystem through marketing campaigns and providing products and customer care in multiple local languages for Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets, while also conducting on ground training and community development initiatives.
Earlier this month, we announced training over 700 web professionals from across four cities in the country, including Pune, Jaipur, Kochi and Ahmedabad, as part of our commitment to supporting the web professional community in India.
Secondly, we are focusing on delivering easy to use, scalable products that meet customers’ needs at every stage of their venture. Pricing plans for our products will be flexible for every stage of the venture from ideation to businesses maturation.
Finally, we aim to create end-to-end experiences through sharp focus on customer journey and customer success so that one million ventures in India are able to fulfil their personal missions. We host regular customer forums such as Customer Councils & Fireside Chats.
Q. Is India of significance for GoDaddy for any other reasons other than sales—example software development, IT infra management, or customer support operations at a global level being driven through India?
A. India is a priority market for us and is a cornerstone of our global expansion strategy. It’s exciting to be here in this market at the time. We expect to witness the tremendous internet boom and help educate and enable small businesses to realize the benefits that being on the internet could do for their venture.
Many small business owners do not perceive themselves as technical and they want hands-on support. We have a Customer Support Centre in India, available 24×7 and free of charge, to support our customers located across India. Support is available in local languages as well – we offer our services in English, Hindi, Marathi and Tamil languages and in local currency, INR.
As of this year, we have over 700 customer agents in India, handling over 4000 customers conversations every day and 100,000+ chats per month.
Q. Any specific offering of GoDaddy which is a Super Hit in India?
A. In a growing market like India, web developers are looking for help in managing their clients in a way that lets them ensure quality while expanding their business. Keeping this in mind, in May, we introduced the next generation Virtual Private Server (VPS) to help the web professional community build and manage the business of their clients. It has been a game-changer for busy web developers in the country, who require a powerful, reliable solution for their hosting needs.
With this fourth generation of GoDaddy’s VPS hosting, users are able to get their servers ready to use in minutes, giving web developers back valuable time and reducing the number of steps it takes for them to get online. Tapping into GoDaddy’s regional global data centers and speedy solid-state drive (SSD) servers, VPS hosting delivers high speed and performance.
In addition to this, last year we launched our updated GoDaddy Website Builder to help people easily create a website, with GoDaddy smart learning and mobile first features. We also launched GoDaddy Professional Email to help small business owners have an email address to align with their domain name designed to create a more professional experience for their customers. All these products have been very well received by our customers in India.
Q. What’s your key strategy to engage the web developer community in India?
A. As a core part of our India strategy, we are committed to building awareness among the web professional (developers and designers) community on the benefits of online adoption through our promotional and marketing campaigns presented in seven Indian languages including: Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada and Malyalam.
We are also invested in enabling the web professionals and local re-sellers with the right online tools, programs, platform and partnership options to help their clients (small businesses) create and manage an effective digital presence. We provide a dedicated customer support team for web developers through the GoDaddy Pro Program helping them access our resources easily and quicker.
Quarterly promotions help create better earning opportunities for web developers and designers. We also conduct digital marketing training sessions to help them upgrade their skills sets. Additionally, to help bring emerged and emerging India online, we are working to provide opportunities for Web Pros to acquire new customers at GoDaddy sponsored Industry Events like TMM Mumbai and CloudFest India and through Program features like Pro Connect.
Q. Any specific stack of solutions offered to them to prefer GoDaddy over other options?
A. We introduced the GoDaddy Pro Program in India a few years ago, with tools and services to help Web Pros more efficiently manage their clients. A key feature of the Program is a centralized dashboard to monitor and manage all clients’ sites from one place, including software updates, security, uptime monitoring, SEO rankings, backups and more. The solution can automate time-consuming site maintenance tasks that can save a Web Pro over three hours a month per website.
Q. Web-hosting is a service that’s seemingly driven by inertia. One does not switch unless faced with an important reason. How does GoDaddy create those reasons to influence switching to your platform?
GoDaddy offers a variety of hosting solutions to fit the unique needs of different business ventures:
- Shared Web Hosting plan is designed for basic websites and blogs and includes one-click installs of over 125 free applications, 1GB database storage, an easy-to-use control panel, and 24×7 security monitoring and DDOs protection
- Business Hosting Plan is designed for eCommerce and hosting an Online Store, and high-traffic websites with dedicated resources and 32 GB RAM for faster page load times, along with the easy-to-use control panel and 24×7 security monitoring
- Virtual Private Server Hosting plan is designed for large enterprise websites, built on dedicated resources with fully allocated CPU cores and robust scalability for large organizations, along with the single dashboard view and 24×7 security monitoring.
GoDaddy has a full suite of easy-to-use and affordable integrated suite of online tools and solutions like Website Builder, Online Store, Security Protection, and other customer engagement and productivity tools. All of these can enable small businesses to strengthen their online presence further.