Local search engine JustDial is increasingly betting on e-commerce to drive the next phase of its growth. Its latest entry is into the travel and bus ticketing space. As Sweta P, one of the users on NextBigWhat forum pointed out, JustDial has enabled bus and cab booking already. And it says flights, hotels and trains are coming soon.
Online travel contributes to over 70% of the total e-commerce market in India which is pegged at over $13 bn currently. Of that, train and bus ticketing is a big portion, dominated by IRCTC and redBus respectively. Tours and packages, Hotels and online cab services are the new areas where we are seeing a lot of activity (1,2, 3).
JustDial currently operates cab booking in Delhi with Mega Cabs.
The listed company had launched Search Plus services, an online marketplace and transaction platform to enable local merchants to sell online. It has been bringing in various services like online food delivery to the platform.
Just how serious is JustDial about its new service? Dead serious. At the end of the third quarter FY14, it allocated Rs 60- Rs 90 cr on advertising search plus. For a company which posted about Rs 30 cr in profit in the third quarter of FY14, this is quite a lot of money.
JustDial’s strength is the strong connections it has with service providers. Through telephone and increasingly over the Internet, JustDial has been generating leads and running over 2 lakh campaigns for small and medium businesses that are mostly offline. This is something even Google hasn’t done in India yet (of course JustDial pays a fair bit of money to Google for search traffic. Things are going to change when everything goes mobile though). If you are in any way remotely connected to e-commerce, this is a company to watch out for!