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Last Updated : Dec 16, 2013 05:39 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Just Dial forays into transaction-enabled services

Just Dial, the search engine that provides comprehensive information on all B2B and B2C products and services, has forayed into transaction-enabled services.

Just Dial, the search engine that provides comprehensive information on all B2B and B2C products and services, has forayed into transaction-enabled services. So far known for providing information on the contact numbers and details of various establishments, the company has launched services like food delivery, wine delivery and bus ticket booking.

"We are in the process of launching several new products and will have one integrated sales force and operational system for search & search plus," Ramkumar Krishnamachari, CFO, Just Dial, said in an interview to CNBC-TV18. "It is a unique platform for users to discover best prices for the product. It also provides them an opportunity to discover the prices of offline store," he said, adding it was premature to talk about numbers on any of these transaction-based or search-plus services.

The company expects to sell few of its services in two months via fixed fee and commission on sales. According to Krishnamachari, the company expects to maintain guidance of improving margins by 150-200 basis points this year.


Here is the verbatim transcript of the interview.

Q: What could the contribution to the overall revenue stream be from these transaction-enabled services?

A: It is too premature right now to talk about numbers on any of these. We have launched it right now what we call as natural extension of what users already do when they do search on our platform.

So we have just started with many of these products like food delivery, table reservation, we have doctor’s appointment booking and we have our own version of marketplace.

Even as it is premature to talk about numbers, I must say that we are very excited about the opportunity.

The way the ecosystem is evolving in India, we are seeing a similar kind of shifts in the way people access Internet similar to what we witnessed when people moved from landline to mobile telephone in the telecom space.

Similarly, increasingly people are moving on to the Internet through the mobile platform, more and more people are spending more time on Whatsapp and Facebook etc.

We are simply positioning ourselves to say that you could do when you do search for many of these day-to-day things, not only can you do search but you can also transact.

In the process for many of these things, there will be a convenience which we provide to the users of doing all those things on a single platform, also in products in our service like marketplace people will be able to discover best prices for the product especially for the branded goods and this is one of the unique platform which provides an opportunity for end user to discover prices for offline store, which has not done so far and it is a very unique platform in that way.

So each of this could evolve into what shape, it is difficult to say but we see a very big opportunity in this and it is more to do with the way users will evolve and their changing behaviour and we are positioning ourselves according to that.

Q: What you are saying is that in the current ‘Search Plus’ that you have launched, viewers or customers will be able to compare several food delivery outlets and then pick for transaction in any one of them, compare prices and order, is that what your app offers?

A: No, in some of the cases, it will be simply be order for example in restaurants, it will simply be that you can order food but when it comes to a branded product, the users will have the ability to compare prices among the different vendors who are offering and these will be vendors who will be in the neighbourhood and in most likelihood, these vendors will provide same-day delivery because the eco system already exists.

What we are doing is simply bridging the gap that exists today between those offline stores and millions of users who are doing transactions and giving them an online discovery and offline fulfillment. So you will see that a lot of these prices for many of these goods will be competitive as compared to any of the online-plus-same-day delivery in most of the cases.

Q: When will you meaningfully make money? I know from the start you are not tying yourself to numbers but when will this yield any money because this is the crowded space, a lot of people are already offering transactions on the net and have hooked on customers, will you meaningfully say, from this ‘search plus’ apps, will you make 10 percent more revenues in the next 12 months?

A: Some of the monetization process has already begun for some of these services like food order, table delivery, flower delivery etc.

It is difficult for me to tie up to a number because we don’t know what shape all this could take, we have been consistently maintaining that we will be offering many different things apart from what we have already launched. There are several other products, which are in the pipeline.

So this will be launched in various spaces and commercialization of all these products will start as soon as these products are launched and it will attain various stages of maturity as far as commercialization is concerned.

You will see in the next twelve months, a lot of these products that we have already launched will be at various stages of commercialization. But it is difficult for me to put an exact number and what percentage of revenue it will contribute. But definitely, these will contribute to the revenue.

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First Published on Dec 11, 2013 12:16 pm
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