"People are aware of security, but not sure what it means for them and what they should do," says Nikhil Arora, Managing Director for GoDaddy India. The domain registrar and Web hosting company has been active in India for around five years now, and is running a campaign to spread security awareness among small and medium businesses. Gadgets 360 caught up with Arora to talk about what the company sees amongst its SMB customers in India, and he told us that there's a lot of confusion in the market when it comes to security products.
"People want to know - 'does it protect me from hacking, malware, data breach'," says Arora. "Security as a concept everyone understands, they can draw analogies from a physical asset, [but] what they are not clear on is, which product should I use and given my business which things I need to buy." That's a niche that GoDaddy aims to fill now, and to that end, it has been offering a number of products and working with third-party vendors to offer more solutions.
The challenge lies in the fact that India is a mixed market, Arora explains. Some parts such as the major metros are well developed and mature, while smaller cities and towns - a focus area for GoDaddy in India in 2018 - need greater awareness as more and more people are getting online.
Beyond awareness, and of course affordability, there's a third pillar that Arora says is critical to driving growth. "We also need to make sure accessibility is there, 'how do I get trained in this', people say," Arora tells us. "The customer care department plays a very key role in being a partner. One of the biggest barriers is people thinking, 'I don't understand what digital means - what all does it involve, who manages it, who maintains it.' First they [customer care] educate small business, then onboarding, and then continuing support."
This is important, Arora says, because for a lot of small businesses, going digital is complex enough. "Security awareness is doubly complicated, there is not awareness of what does it mean," he reiterates. "So we launched this program and the goal was to connect with small businesses to boost trust and satisfaction."
Security is not just for the end users
"What we are doing is engaging with both the partners and customers on raising awareness on what it means to be secure," says Arora. "How do you protect your customer's data - even when filling out a form, that data is at risk. Do you have SSL certificates on your website, to inspire visitors to say, 'okay, you're a trusted website.'"
To that end, GoDaddy is offering a website security certification, and it's also partnered with security providers such as McAfee to provide support. It's also offering what Arora describes as an "ER service," for if your site does get hacked, where the company's security experts will go over your site and remove any issues.
"On the human side, we're spending a lot of time to help customers understand what are the basics of security improvement and what can you do," says Arora. "There is a tendency to not invest in security products, but one we put out use cases, or case studies of other customers - especially the ones whose sites got hacked, and we had to work on fixing them - there's nothing more powerful to drive things home than when one of your peers is telling you."
This is something that is only likely to get more important for the company - and Internet users in India - in 2018 and further down the line. As Arora points out, the Internet penetration is growing, mostly led by mobile - another focus area for 2018 - and a whole new audience of online entrepreneurs (who are less Internet savvy, but highly focused on RoI) is coming online.
GoDaddy is available in six Indian languages already with more on the cards, and although he can't reveal the split of customers, Arora does tell us that after the company added support in these Indian languages, almost 40 percent of customer support call volume was related to its regional products.
"RoI [Retern on Investment] is a big barrier - 'I'm going to make all this investment and what's it going to do for me' and that's where the commercial business case of other customers like them," explains Arora. "They can understand that a business like me has done this and grown and become more profitable."