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We have long passed the days when we need to go out and search for the services we need. This transformation can largely be credited to the emergence of the latest technologies and the internet.
It is the online searching that we generally rely on today, via which we can search for the services that we require, find where they are located, and opt for them at our ease. One of the major proponents of the Indian internet technology ecosystem that has radically changed how the people of India benefit from the local search results is Just Dial.
Founded in 1996, Just Dial India brings the best local search platform for people across the Indian subcontinent. The Mumbai-based company was founded by VSS Mani and has successfully operated independently throughout the years. Reliance Retail now owns majority stakes (66.95%) in the company, which it acquired on July 16, 2021, for Rs 3,497 cr.
Check out all about Justdial here with this StartupTalky article, including the Founders of the company, Funding, and Investors, Business and Revenue Model, Startup Story, Logo, Tagline, Competitors, Challenges, and more.
- Startup Name-Justdial or JD
- Headquarters-Mumbai, India
- Sector-Search Engine and Internet
- Founders-V.S.S. Mani
- Total Funding-$$85 mn (2021)
- Revenue from Operations-$21.37 mn (Rs 159 crore in Q3 FY22)
- Valuation-$339.42 mn in (Rs 2,525.15 crore in FY20)
Justdial - About
Justdial is an internet technology company based in Mumbai, India that provides local search services for different kinds of companies and services in India over the phone, online. Founded in 1996 by VSS Mani, Just Dial has evolved to be India's largest and the most popular local listing service company when Reliance Retail decided to acquire majority stakes in it in 2021. With this, the Mukesh Ambani-led company forayed into the local search services space.
Just Dal still operates successfully and is the most popular choice for the Indian people looking for local services or companies via web and mobile applications.
Justdial - Startup Story
"People say proud beginnings are seldom successful," and Just Dial is just another example to prove the same.
The company, which later rose to the heights of the Indian local search services giant, had a humble beginning. The primary idea of Just Dial was germinated when VSS Mani worked with a yellow pages company in 1987 when he thought to replace the yellow pages with a database of information that the users can use to get what they need while also giving them the opportunity to list their own services.
To start with, Mani first registered the Mumbai landline phone number 2888-8888 under his name. He looked for financial backing to seed fund his company but without being able to find any, he started with a seed capital of Rs 50,000 in 1996. Back then it was a team of 5 employees, a few rented computers, and some borrowed furniture. The place of the beginning was a hired garage where the Justdial employees initially operated from.
The company eventually started gaining popularity and it was in the year 2007 that it launched an internet and mobile app version of the database "Justdial.com". Beginnings are always tough. It's never a bed full of roses for anyone! It was really hard for the new startup company too, but anyway it made it and now we all know the word 'JustDial'.
Justdial - Founders And Team
V.S.S Mani is the founder and CEO of the company Justdial.
V.S.S. Mani is the Chief Executive Officer(CEO), Managing Director, and the founder of Justdial. He is associated with the business since it was incorporated. He is an experienced visionary with over 33 years of experience of entrepreneurial experience. Born in Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur in 1966, Mani grew up in Calcutta and had dreamed to pursue his graduation in Commerce and later obtain a CA degree. Mani was enrolled in the University of Delhi and though he tried to attempt both he failed due to the lack of adequate finances.
Mani started his job at a yellow pages company, United Database India. While working Mani suddenly reflected that the database the company had would be more accessible and useful via phone. This led Mani to start up with Ask Me, which was launched back in 1989, however, the company didn't make it up that much back then and rather needed a makeover in the form of Just Dial, which he founded in 1996.
Among the key executives of Just Dial, the company currently works with Abhishek Bansal (CFO), V Krishnan, and has earlier worked with Ramani Iyer, who worked with the company as a Director.
Justdial - Tagline, Slogan And Logo
The tagline of the company is Anything Anytime Anywhere. It's said that it's India's number #1 local search engine for its users. Its work is to provide information to its users about 'anything' at any point in time - 'anytime' and in any place - 'anywhere'.
Justdial - Mission and Vision
To "provide fast, free, reliable, and comprehensive information to our users and enable discovery and transactions for all products and services" is the mission and vision of Justdial.
Justdial - Business And Revenue Model
The business model of the corporation is primarily a combination of free and paid services. The listing of the small businesses is made available free of charge. The company's goal is to work on a collection of data processes and provide the users with all the data they need on their phones, SMSs, and the internet. The company earns from a list of small businesses paying up to be listed on Justdial. The "Indian Google", as Justdial is often termed, works just like Google, and has almost revolutionized the Indian local searching.
The Revenue model of the local search services giant largely depends on the premium subscription, classified ads listings, analytical reports, and the data it possesses. Initially, it used to work as a telephone directory-based model. In the year 2019, the company recorded a revenue of INR 984.46 Crores. Justdial noticed a jump in its total revenue, which amounted to 1,092.81 crores INR in March 2020.
Justdial - Marketing Strategies
Justdial has relied on traditional as well as digital marketing strategies to extend the brand reputation. Furthermore, the company has also depended on popular mediums like Television, Print, and even Radio, along with going with the latest Online media. By selecting a super easy number to remember, Just Dial has made the game super easy. The company had initially chosen the number 2888-8888 and currently operates with the same as well as another mobile number that goes 8888888888.
Justdial also catapults with their word-of-mouth marketing due to the exemplary service that the brand provides its users. Furthermore, the company has also roped in Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador during the extremely popular KBC shows, which helped the company a lot in its marketing. The other forms of marketing that steer the company ahead are Google Keywords, other digital marketing tools, traditional banners, placards, and everything else.
Justdial - Growth
The company is a Mumbai-based local search services company that has seen quite a growth from its humble beginnings. The VSS Mani-led company has last been recorded to be operating with over 10,000 employees and a database of more than 29.4 million listings and 536,236 active paid campaigns.
According to the latest reports dated January 19, 2022, Just Dial has recorded a 61% dip in its net profit in Q2 FY22, which stood at INR 19.4 crore, and earlier was INR 49.9 crore, during the same period in the previous year. The operating EBITDA of the company stood at Rs 10 crore, excluding its ESOP expenses. The Q3 earnings of FY22 were recorded at Rs 159 crore from operations, which was reported to be around a 6.9% drop from Rs 169.5 crore in Q3 of FY21.
On July 17, 2021, Reliance Retail Ventures announced that it would be acquiring around 67% (66.95%) shares in Justdial. This amounted to a total cash consideration of Rs 3,497 crores.
RRVL, backed by Mukesh Ambani had earlier acquired 40.95% stakes in the search and discovery platform, Just Dial, and then made an offer to acquire another 26%. According to a recent press release, Reliance has confirmed that VSS Mani, founder of Just Dial will continue to lead the 25-year-old company as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Justdial - Challenges
Beginning in an age where internet services were at their nascent stages, Justdial had to face numerous challenges involving the implementation of the latest search services, improving its mobile app, and more. Justdial also witnessed several issues associated with their data quality, location data, search inconsistencies, data attributes and values, and marketing its services.
Justdial - Awards and Achievements
Some of the prominent awards and achievements that Justdial received throughout its journey are:
- It received the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (Services) Award at the Ernst & Young Awards of 2013
- Justdial was conferred upon the Jury Special Commendation Award at the Young Turks Awards – 2012
- The company was declared as the Best VC-backed Media & Communication Company at the VCCircle Annual Awards – 2012:
- Amity Global Business School – 2012 recognized Justdial with the Amity Corporate Excellence Award for Customer Service
- Justdial received the Award For Innovation In Business Process by Citi Commercial Bank in the Empowering growth of Emerging Enterprises in 2012
- The company was conferred upon the International Red Hat Innovation Award at the Red Hat and JBoss Innovation Awards of 2010
Justdial - Competitors
The company has got various competitors working in the same space. The top competitors are:
- Urban Company
- Exporters India
Justdial - Future Plans
Justdial is looking to improve its profitability and emerge stronger as a brand along with maintaining its popularity and further leveraging it via its parent Reliance Retail. It also aims to grow its recently launched B2B marketplace, JD Mart.
Justdial - FAQ's
What is JustDial?
Justdial or Just Dial is a company that provides local search for different kinds of services in India over the phone, online.
Who is the Founder of JustDial?
V.S.S Mani is the founder and CEO of the company Justdial.
What services does JustDial provide?
The company is engaged in providing search-related services to its users. It is also engaged with other information-related services.
Who are the competitors of JustDial?
The top competitors are Sulekha, IndiaMART, Asklaila, Quikr, Urban Company, Zimmber, Nearbuy, Timesinfoline, Exporters India, Fxchng and EC21.
Who is Justdial owner?
With over 66% stakes in Justdial, the Justdial owner is Reliance Retail.