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Case Code: CLBE022
Case Length: 5 pages 
Period: 2014-2015  
Pub Date: 2016
Teaching Note: Available
Subject : Business Ethics
Organization :Google India
Industry : Technology Industry
Countries : --

Google India's ‘Internet Saathi’ Initiative: Promoting Internet Literacy among Rural Women



In July 2015, Google launched ‘Internet Saathi,’ a technology-enabled program to foster internet literacy among women in rural India in association with Tata Trusts & Intel. The joint initiative aimed to bridge the technology gender divide in India in general and generate awareness among the rural women on the benefit of the internet in their lives in particular. As part of the program, Google designed cycling carts (internet bicycles) fitted with computer equipment which would help the rural women access the internet in their villages. The program involved the deployment of 1,000 internet bicycles in the rural areas of three states of India on a pilot basis to enable easy internet access to the women before it was scaled up to cover other parts of the country. The internet carts engaged the rural women through awareness creation and training on the benefits and use of internet, so that they would be able to use it independently.
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  • Understand Google’s initiative for the techno-empowerment of women in rural India.
  • Analyze whether the initiative was successful in achieving its objective.
  • Understand how a company’s stand on social issues can contribute to enhancing the company’s image.
  • Understand the role of cause-related marketing in enhancing brand image.
  • Identify the challenges Google could face in spreading its internet literacy initiative among rural women in India.
On July 3, 2015, the Indian arm of technology giant Google Inc., Google India, launched an initiative called ‘Internet Saathi’ (Internet Friend) to empower rural women and their communities in India by enabling them to use the internet in their daily lives. Under the initiative, Google India sought to create awareness among the women about the internet and its benefits and to train them on how to use it in their day-to-day life. The program, initiated by Google India in collaboration with the Tata Trusts and Intel Corporation (Intel), aimed to bridge the technology gender divide which put rural Indian women at the risk of being left behind as the world around them reaped the benefits of the internet. Commenting on the initiative, Sandeep Menon, country marketing director, Google India, said, “In India, 30 per cent of total internet users are women. While in urban areas the growth rate of women coming online is more than that of men (60 per cent versus 44 per cent), in rural areas women are lagging behind (27 per cent versus 56 per cent). Therefore, we are trying to educate these rural women about the benefits and advantages of being able to use the internet.” ..


Google India,‘Internet Saathi’,Internet literacy,Digital India,Techno-empowerment,Internet carts,‘Helping Women Get Online’,‘ReachForTheSky’

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