MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: The Indian unit of Google posted 30% increase in revenues in fiscal 2018, more than doubling its business over the past three years, which indicates its clout in digital media spends on the search engine’s local business.Google India posted a turnover of Rs 9337.7 crore during year to March compared to Rs 7,208.9 crore, while profit jumped 33% to Rs 407.2 crore. Sales had expanded 22% in fiscal 2017, according to latest Registrar of Companies filing. The US technology giant has several Internet-related services and products such as cloud computing and other software, but nearly 69% of the revenue is driven by the advertising service that displays ads next to search results.Marketers and advertising experts said that while Google and Facebook compete for digital dominance, both platforms are powerful advertising platforms that cater to different needs of a business. “Google and Facebook command close 80% of the entire digital industry,” said Sam Balsara, chairman, Madison World. “The digital advertising industry in India is growing faster than most countries in the world exhibiting almost 30% growth for the last 5 years. It is at the forefront of digital revolution and adoption,” Balsara added.According to the estimates by GroupM’s ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2018, the digital adex (advertising expenditure) will continue to grow by 30% in 2018 to Rs 12,337 crores.While Google enjoys a certain monopoly with most marketers spending more than two-thirds of their digital budget on it, the Indian unit’s turnover is still just over 1% of the parent’s revenue. Less-developed markets such as India lag behind in consumer use of digital devices compared with the developed world, as brands have been slower to embrace digital media. Traditional media still secures the bulk of ad budgets in the country. While TV is currently the most popular advertising medium in India, growing demand for smartphones — which are becoming more affordable — coupled with strong social network usage has led advertisers to increase their ad budgets on mobile alongside traditional media options.In several emerging countries such as India, California-based Google has been working to ensure easier access through a fast-loading, lighter version of its search engine so users can get answers quickly and pay less for data. The Internet giant also created a product, Google Station, for the Indian Railways. In June this year, it announced the completion of the free service at 400 railway stations across India in collaboration with RailTel. Google has been using insights it receives from India to create region-specific products for the country as well as other markets including the US. A year ago, it also launched Tez, now called Google Pay a mobile payments and commerce app that already has more than 25 million active users. For the company, India was the first country that moved to mobile for maps access. With issues including high cost to access mobile Internet, Google allowed people to download video offline.
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