India’s texting yellow pages

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India’s texting yellow pages

Published on April 15, 2016 with No Comments

If you’re looking for a bank in Bangalore, mutton in Mumbai or a deli in Delhi, who you gonna call? That would be JustDial. From the remotest of villages to the most bustling of metropolises, JustDial is all the rage in India. It’s the perfect convergence of digital age technologies with analog age sensibilities. Broadband is not so broadly available in India, which means that the billion plus population of consumers aren’t that connected to the Internet. But those bulky, paper directories are also not being used much. Instead Indians are using the mobile phone version of the Yellow Pages in a very 21st century way. The answers are texted to them. It saves paper and inaccuracies.
But wait. There’s more. JustDial is a resource for businesses too. It incorporates advertising, social networking and market research into its directory services. While they’ll text a list of nearby restaurants to a caller, they can also offer to connect the caller to “preferred” merchants. Additionally, you can sign up to receive information about customers who are seeking the type of service or merchandise from your business, in which case you get to send texts when customers are searching. JustDial can also assemble user profiles based on their request history, which comes in handy for market research. Meanwhile, users can give vendors the equivalent of a digital thumbs-up or down on JustDial’s rating system. And soon there might be digital coupon deals. Who would have guessed online could really be offline?

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