From a garage to an IPO – this is not the story line of a new Bollywood flick, but the success story of an Indian search service, Just Dial. Just Dial initiated its services with providing information of local contacts and services in 1996 and later added internet and mobile internet services in 2007.
Adding yet another feather to its cap, Just Dial has launched ‘Search Plus’ — an attempt of becoming a one stop shop for looking up services. The service aims at making day to day tasks actionable and accessible conveniently while helping SMEs getting discovered and transacted at the same time.
Commenting on the occasion, VSS Mani, CEO & Founder, Just Dial said, “I believe company’s success have come from disrupting our won model. These are exciting times, the confluence of three domains – mobile, social and technologies, has created something that can be described as the ‘perfect storm’, an unusual convergence of forces which will enable more info-gratification for users on the go in the near future.”
The search plus feature will take the traditional search process a step ahead by committing to the users’ need. For instance on the shop front, if a user is looking at buying a LG Nexus 5, she can search the product on Just Dial’s search plus and get a result of all the vendors who are selling the device. Users can compare prices with different vendors then and there to make an informed decision. Also, users need to look out for the trust factor in the form of number of ratings, Just Dial verification stamp and ratings from their own friends.
Once the process of selection of vendor is done, consumers can go ahead and use the ‘Buy Now’ option, make the payment online and wait for the delivery of their product. One can order everything ranging from groceries to gadgets. Users can also book services such as a doctor’s appointment, booking a table at their favourite restaurant or ordering food at home.
The year 2013 has been crucial for Just Dial in many ways. The local information provider entered the mobile realm with an iOS app. It also went public with an IPO in May 2013 and has now launched Search Plus.
While Just Dial managed to maintain its lead position in the information search domain, one cannot help but question whether Search Plus’s service enabler feature will get the company in the league of international search engines such as Google in the country? Also, the new search feature will face stiff competition from niche search services like Zomato and Burrp who are well established in their domains.
Nonetheless, Just Dial has a rather dramatic history of successes and one could definitely hope for the same from Search Plus.