Guruji.com, touted as India’s first local Internet search engine, aims to consolidate its existing offerings and an increase in monetisation this year. Anurag Dod, CEO and Co-founder, Guruji.com, speaks exclusively with exchange4media regarding growth plans for 2009.
The global search engine market is around $12 billion, whereas the Indian search market is approximately valued at $50-60 million.
Launched in 2006, Guruji.com, has not yet achieved break-even, but is bullish about growth. In the last one year, the company has extended its web service by launching Finance, Image and Music searches. On March 4, 2009, it launched its online ad networks – AdGuru for publishers and AdYantra for advertisers. Guruji.com had started off with English language and went on to introduce seven regional languages – Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Gujarati. Dod informed that two more languages would be added in the next one year.
Speaking on the plans for 2009, Dod said, “In terms of our revenue aspect, we are certainly seeing some pressure from the market, therefore, we make sure our plans are aligned to the market scenario, but in terms of consumer growth, we are seeing huge traffic growth, which will undoubtedly continue to increase.”
Over the last six months, the local search engine has witnessed a 25 per cent quarterly growth rate in advertising net profit. Guruji.com competes with established players like Google, Yahoo and MSN, to name a few. Some of the existing clients with Guruji.com include Citibank, HDFC Bank, Makemytrip.com, Monster.com and Bharat Matrimony.
This year, Guruji.com aims to consolidate more on their existing offerings, which means there will be a lot more investments on Web Search, Finance Search and Ad Networks. The focus will also be on increase in monetisation capability of the site and to ensure the ad networks perform even better.
Dod informed, “We have seen a consistent growth, especially in the last 6-8 months. In terms of search volumes, we are doing more than a million searches per day. This is one major milestone that we have crossed. We are currently able serve more than 1.5 billion ad impressions per month. Going forward, we will focus more on the search domain as we have seen a pretty consistent growth in the search area.”
Dod admitted that like any other company Guruji.com, too, had been affected by the economic slowdown and added that the company had taken necessary measures to contain it. For instance, the search engine company has gone slow in its hiring and has become cautious in terms of spending.