JustDial: The Information and Business Listings Directory
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 17719
, Published on 01 July 2011
The number 69999999 looks familiar to most of the people living in 240 cities where JustDial operates. Started in 1994 in Mumbai has now expanded beyond the Indian shores as well and has revenues of close to around 500 crores. Remember Yellow Pages the one which not just provided the contact details but also listings of various business, the same idea has been recreated taking telephone as the medium. This service has made Yellow Pages redundant and we hardly see those thick fat books in many houses these days.
So for those don't know about JustDial yet it is India's leading online search engine having over 5 million business listings and over 1.5 lakh advertisers. With over 1.5 lakh classification of products and services everything a caller wants can be found by just making a call. It has positioned itself as an online business directory wherein the user can call for specific information and the customer care executive apart from providing the requested information would also try to sell similar products of their advertisers to the callers.
V.S.S. Mani the man behind the idea had a torrid time when he initially launched it. The offering had been launched way ahead of the time a ecosystem was built around it. In early 90's when the telecom revolution was yet to usher in the company began its operations. Having a phone at that time was a luxury which many people could not afford so the question of calling up to search for some information was farfetched. But in the hindsight you can say that he had the first mover advantage and had established the idea when the telecom revolution happened in the country.
What started in a small 300 sqft garage is now 4500 people strong and is still growing and it had broadened the horizons by formally launching its service in US shores. They have now 57 million users and availability to the customers through all the customer points such as phone, computers and mobiles. Innovation is a key in this field and the company has not shied away from offering the solutions which the consumer demands.
So what exactly is the model of JustDial? The company basically provides information to the callers on anything which they want. The information is provided absolutely free of cost. So then how it makes money. The company signs advertisers who would want to promote their business to the callers. So every time you call them the executive answering you would surely ask whether you need other outlets offering the same service which you ask. So this is a kind of cross selling which earns them money.
But is the model sustainable in the future. The answer is yes. The mobile revolution has opened up avenues for other service providers as well. Just dial is just a part of the larger ecosystem built around telephony. People instead of wasting time searching for information would call and get it free of cost and even the price of a single call is negligible. Time is money and that's where the company scores by providing information on anything to the people within the shortest possible time. But yes innovation is the key as in any Market and JustDial needs to think about other exciting features or else a competitor is not far away even in this Market.
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