JustDial Business Model: How Did JustDial Become Successful?


“JustDial app se pucho” has emerged as the primary tagline for JustDial, the leading local search platform in India. This catchy phrase has gained immense popularity throughout the country, appearing on billboards, social media, and even in movie theatres. But have you ever wondered how JustDial became such a household name? Let’s delve into the remarkable journey of this company, which started from humble beginnings and eventually became one of India’s top classified websites.

Founded by V.V.S Mani, a former employee of the yellow pages, JustDial introduced its groundbreaking idea in 1987. Today, the company boasts a turnover of over 128.8 Million and receives a staggering daily call count of 1.9 Million, along with 7.22 million daily page views. With offices in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and other major cities in India, JustDial has also expanded its services to Canada, UK, UAE, and USA.

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One of the key factors behind JustDial’s success lies in its unique business model. Unlike many other search engines, JustDial allows businesses, websites, and service providers of all kinds to list their services for FREE on their platform. In return, JustDial charges a nominal fee of INR 2000 per month and provides the contact details of users seeking those specific services. This win-win approach has propelled JustDial to great heights, enabling it to establish itself as a prominent player in the industry.

Such remarkable success led JustDial to collaborate with one of India’s iconic actors, Amitabh Bachchan, who served as their brand ambassador for a significant period. Presently, JustDial has the talented actor Ranveer Singh as their brand ambassador, further enhancing their brand presence.

History Of JustDial

In 1994, JustDial was registered as a company, starting out in a rented garage with a merge investment of ₹50,000 and a small team of 5 to 6 employees. Prior to JustDial, founder V.S.S Mani had been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures, including a company called Ask me. However, Ask me faced difficulties due to the limited penetration of telephones at the time.

Despite the catchy name of Ask me, the lack of a memorable and user-friendly telephone number hindered its success. Eventually, the business failed. Undeterred, Mani ventured into the wedding planning industry, where he achieved a profit margin of ₹2.5 lakhs.

Still wanting to improve his line of work and the existing business model, Mani decided to pursue his original idea of creating a platform for local search, leading to the birth of JustDial. Reflecting on his previous mistakes, he acknowledged the valuable lessons he had learned.

With renewed determination, Mani aimed to establish JustDial as a leader in the local search domain. This time, he prioritized securing a memorable telephone number, understanding the significance of such a choice based on the lessons learned from Ask me. Ultimately, he succeeded in obtaining a number that was 10 times the value of the number 8.

Business Model of JustDial

JustDial’s remarkable success can be attributed to its unique business model, which has led to negative working capital and consistently increasing revenue. Let’s explore how JustDial achieved such widespread outreach.

Firstly, the founders secured a memorable telephone number, combining it with the name JustDial to enhance brand recognition and ease of remembrance.

To build their extensive database, the JustDial team personally approached local businesses door-to-door, diligently populating their listings.

Generating user adoption proved challenging due to limited funds for advertising. To overcome this, JustDial encouraged both clients and employees to utilise the platform’s services. They also focused on forging strong connections with diverse local businesses, enabling users to easily find small service providers such as carpenters, plumbers, and mobile shops. This word-of-mouth approach significantly increased JustDial’s popularity and user base.

Furthermore, JustDial remained committed to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, solidifying its position as a helpful resource for such organisations.

Revenue Model of JustDial

JustDial was committed to achieving significant online visibility and offered a comprehensive package that included payment solutions, customised websites, mobile sites, and mobile apps. This value-added offering was particularly appealing to companies with an MSME registration.

By implementing an efficient revenue model, JustDial managed to minimise operational costs. Given the financial constraints they faced, the management needed help to afford expensive advertising campaigns. As a result, they encouraged their own employees to utilise JustDial’s services. The affordable pricing of the products enabled JustDial to quickly gain market traction, leading to additional revenue each month.

This newfound revenue allowed them to allocate funds towards hiring more sales staff, further expanding their business. Additionally, clients demonstrated trust in the brand and were willing to pay in advance for the services provided by JustDial.

Key Reasons for JustDial Success

Some key factors contributing to JustDial’s success include:

  • Established market presence over an extended period.
  • Adaptation of the business model to meet evolving needs, transitioning from telephone-based to web-based and mobile app-based services.
  • Prompt response to user inquiries.
  • Consistent delivery of high-quality user experience.
  • Effective and profitable revenue model.
  • Skilled marketing and management divisions with extensive expertise.

In summary, JustDial’s success can be attributed to its enduring presence in the search market, flexible business model, responsive customer service, commitment to user satisfaction, revenue-generating strategies, and a talented team of marketing and management professionals.