More businesses want to create web presence: EIG’s Manish Dalal

EIG's Manish Dalal on COVID-19 pandemic driving digital among businesses
Manish Dalal

Businesses today are seeking help to make web presence. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed digital, right at the centre of businesses like never before.

Amid the on-going pandemic crisis, not just large enterprises and organisations but even small businesses and individual professionals have realised the significance of digital and its reach.

While large organisations continue to invest in technology and undertake various digital transformation projects to simplify their business processes and gain efficiency.

Even small traditional businesses are not far behind in leveraging digital tools and technology that reach out to their customers and adding a digital edge to their businesses.

Endurance International Group (EIG) operates in this unique space of helping and enabling businesses to move into the digital world through its different brands like Bluehost, ResellerClub, HostGator and BigRock.

In this interview, Manish Dalal, SVP & GM – Endurance APAC talks to TechHerald.in on EIG’s business strategy in India and APAC region, and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in pushing them to take digital routes.

He also discusses how EIG is enabling small businesses to make their digital presence, the key business challenges and much more…

Edited excerpts…

Q1. How has been Endurance International Group (EIG)’s overall business in the APAC region during 1H 2020? Has the COVID-19 crisis impacted EIG’s business in the Asia region?
Manish Dalal: Endurance International Group has brands like Bluehost, ResellerClub, HostGator, BigRock, that aid and support the journey for digital presence for a small business.

Our brands have continued to serve new and existing customers (both small businesses and web professionals) during this time. Even during this challenging time, we continue to manage our platforms and infrastructure with stability and reliability that our customers expect of us.

Q2. What kind of demands are you getting from customers/ businesses across brands of EIG this year compared to 2019? Are you seeing any particular trend that has emerged during the 1H 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis?
Manish Dalal: During this time, we observe more businesses seeking help to create a web presence. According to Google search data, searches for domain names website builder, and website hosting have increased by 1.5X times during this period.

Google trends also indicate that searches for “starting a business” and “e-commerce” have gone up in the last 60 days in India. Individuals and small businesses challenged by COVID-19 are progressively looking at leveraging the internet to create an online presence and connect with their customers.

We recently surveyed our MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) audience, that revealed that 30 percent of MSMEs either started a website or expanded to e-commerce during the lockdown. It also indicated that preference for using digital mediums is now about 1.9X more than traditional sales interactions. A contactless revolution in communication, collaboration and commerce is imminent.

Q3. What has been EIG’s India strategy for 2020 and has the current situation forced any change to the overall business plans for India and APAC?
Manish Dalal: The overall economy has been affected and most businesses are seeing a slowdown. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly reinstated the importance of digital and its role in helping businesses to keep themselves open and in touch with their customers.

The primary aim of all Endurance brands like Bluehost, HostGator, and BigRock is to get small and medium businesses online. APAC and India are of strategic importance to us.

Now, more than ever, we are committed to helping small businesses leverage an online presence for their businesses to truly unlock their business potential. We are also focused on helping our web professional customers through our brand ResellerClub to more effectively serve their small business customers in these difficult times.

Q4. In the present scenario, what type of products and services can EIG offer in India, particularly for the MSMEs? And what’s your assessment on the India market in terms of demands of products, services and overall sales?
Manish Dalal: Endurance Group is a family of brands that helps small businesses get a web presence. In India, we cater to small business owners and web professionals through brands such as ResellerClub, HostGator, Bluehost, and BigRock.

These brands provide the tools and resources needed to build and establish web presence, be found online, and grow through email marketing and more. Our products and services also allow a web professional to customize and deliver the perfect solution to their SMB customer to enable them to build their brand and business online.

We continuously work towards enhancing our purchase experience keeping in mind local nuances in India. All of our brands provide local customer support and our experience offers the option to pay using local currency. Along with providing the right products to facilitate an online presence, Endurance with its brands undertakes various initiatives to educate and build the ecosystem to help SMBs and web professionals.

Q5. EIG has a 400 member workforce in India including an IT team. So what’s the major role of this workforce in EIG’s business across India and APAC?
Manish Dalal: We have an engineering team in India that supports our global brands and also improves our platforms to serve local audiences in India. In addition, we have several partners who use our platform scale to reach our small business and web professional customers.

For example, we are one of the largest distributors of GSuite in APAC and are receipent of the Google Cloud Expansion Partner of the Year for 2019. We are always open to meaningful partnerships that add value to our customers.

Q6. Which are some of the key business challenges for EIG’s business?
Manish Dalal:
Our biggest challenge has been to maintain high levels of continuous support to our customers with the ongoing challenges. That includes unreliable home internet connections, cramped living and working spaces at home, and absence of physical presence of our teams that allows for more effective knowledge sharing across employees.

However, our teams have shown courage and resilience to ensure continued service and support to our customers.

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