The Idea : V.S.S Mani, the founder of Just Dial, used to work for a yellow pages company called United Database India. In 1987, he had the idea that yellow pages information can be much more effective if it can be provided over the phone, on a real time basis. With this in mind, the company started its operations from Mumbai in 1996 providing local search information. In 2007, it also launched internet and mobile internet platforms for the same service.
The Founder : V.S.S. Mani is the founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mr. Mani had initially started a company called AskMe in 1989 based on a similar concept, but at that time owing to low penetration of telephones in the country, the venture did not take off. After that he worked on a plan "Wedding Planner" in collaboration with The Times of India. In the beginning, Mr. Mani started the company with a few pieces of borrowed furniture, rented computers, a 3x5 feet garage which he took on hire and a seed capital of Rs 50,000. Needless to say, the company has come a long way from there, with a share price of Rs. 656.00 ( http://www.bseindia.com/stock-share-price/just-dial-ltd/just-dial/535648/ ) as of today.
Business Model : Just Dial has established itself as the undisputed leader of local search in India.It provides comprehensive and updated B2B and B2C services in India. The service is available on a number of platforms like phone, internet, mobile internet and sms. In keeping with the latest technological treands, Just Dial has also launched its own mobile app for Android, iOS and blackberry.
Just Dial allows firms to list themselves for free. However, firms can also pay for sponsored listings. This happens to be the biggest revenue source for Just Dial. The revenue model of Just Dial can explained in the following steps :
Profit/Revenue : According to CRISIL research report, Just Dial has maintained an astounding 39% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the last four years. This led CRISIL to issue a gradation of 5/5 for Just Dial's IPO launched this year. Starting off with Rs. 50,000 investment in 1997, Just Dial's revenue grew from Revenues grew from Rs 85 lakh in March 1997 to Rs 200 crore in March 2011. For the nine months of FY13, Just Dial recorded revenues of Rs 271.6 crore and net profits of Rs 47 crore. Although the revenue figures might indiacate otherwise, no more than 2% of Just Dials 9.1 Million listings are paid for. Given below is a break-up of clients.
According to CRISIL research, the business plan for Just Dial is stable and reliable as it is a negative working capital and a debt-free business model. Also, being the first mover in the niche and by having superiority in technology, databases and having a business model that is hard to replicate exactly, Just Dial is likely to remain the market leader in local search for quite some time to come. The number of visitors to their site bear that claim.
Funding : On March 20, 2013, Justdial had obtained approval from Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its proposed Initial public offering (IPO).
In May 2013, Justdial went public on May 20 at a price between Rs. 470-543. Out of 17.5 million shares, 13.5 million shares were offered to the public and 3,936,925 shares have been subscribed to by 15 Anchor Investors at Rs 530 per equity share, for a total of around Rs 208.65 crore. JustDial has reserved 75% of its IPO for institutional investors, 15% for high net worth individuals (HNIs) and remaining 10% for retail investors.
How They Promote : Just Dial uses a mix of Television, Radio, Print and Online media to promote themselves. From the beginning, VSS Mani made sure the company had a phone number (8888888888) that will be easy to remember. The company also roped in Amitabh Bachchan and Boman Irani to feature in their ads, which have been very well received. Incidentally, Amitach Bachchan also invested around Rs. 6 lakh in Just Dial before the IPO, and he has gained more than Rs. 3 crore after the IPO. Mostly though, among a large part of Indian crowd, Just Dial has gained popularity by simple word-of-mouth, which is the best kind. While their service is certain to impress a first time caller, the unique phone number ensures that when the caller passes the word around, the number is also passed on.
Just Dial TVC featuring the Big-B
Recently, Just Dial also carried out the hugely popular “Rate & Win I-Pad” contest on social media. All that users had to do was to rate 15 businesses in their area and they were eligible to win an i-pad.