JustDial was supposed to launch its US service in 2009 and the company had raised funds from SAIF Partners and Tiger Global Management for global expansion. Later Sequoia bought the stake from the two funds [for $8.2mn] and today, JustDial is launching its US service.
1-800-JustDial is a toll-free voice search supported by call center execs [i.e. unlike Google, which relies on voice recognition software] and the service supports free concierge services like Free 411, Movie Information, Events, Restaurants, Hotels and Local Search.
Will the US operation fly, given that voice recognition engines do work pretty well in US [as opposed to India, which is blessed with different accents]?
Is JD’s ‘local search with a human touch’ positioning relevant? Only time will tell. All one needs to understand is that JD has pretty much captured the Indian market [read: India’s Local Search Market in 2009 – Milestones/Failures & The Road Ahead] and needs bigger challenges – maybe a focused Emerging Market strategy would have been a better alternative.
Moreover, JD needs to go beyond voice – and maybe launch iPhone Apps, Android Apps for top of the mind recall. As a company which has been not so fairly strong in technology, it will be an interesting journey.
Whats your take?