Three years since its launch, Asklaila.com, India’s local information service, claims to have reached the level of maturity and that it has been growing in double digits month on month. While the local information service has not achieved breakeven as yet, it is well on its way to achieving that. Asklaila.com also boasts of having the best reach or coverage, comprehensiveness, correctness or accuracy in its information.
The USP of the company is the quality of data, excessive coverage and good delivery channel, to name a few. Asklaila.com has also begun to invest heavily in its distribution channel. One of the first large distribution deals struck was with Airtel, which is an exclusive deal wherein Asklaila.com was allowed to power their entire search experiences – toll free search and in multiple formats like SMS or WAP, to name a few. This apart, Asklaila.com has also partnered with Amar Chitra Katha, MSN, Hindustan Times (print) and Chennaionline, and recently roped in Reuters, too, as part of its distribution strategy.
According to industry estimates, 20-30 per cent of the total web searches in India are ‘local’ in nature, and there are about 1 billion web searches per month (that is, 200-300 million local searches per month). In the US market, 60 per cent of web search is local search (as per Comscore).
In conversation with exchange4media, Aravind Sampathkumaran, Chief Product Officer, Asklaila.com, said, “We have been working very actively on distribution channels because people will use the product whenever they have the need. They need not always be on our site and all these partners have chosen to work with us because of the quality of our product and the quality of our services.”
“The year 2009 has been a big growth year for us so far, especially in the last nine months. We have been growing in double digits month on month and we have also started monetising our product and are very encouraged by the response received. We believe there is enough potential in the local search/ information space, at least in terms of growth rate. There are lots of opportunities and the market is really huge and the opportunity is huge,” he added.