The man behind Just Dial, VSS Mani not only made Just Dial what it is today, but also showed the digital industry how internet can be used effectively for various services.
VSS Mani was bestowed with the IDMA Person of the Year title at the Indian Digital Media Awards 2013 for his extensive work that created the unique face of Just Dial.
Commenting on the occasion Mani expressed, “Clearly, this year has been quite historic, eventful and without doubt, a milestone for all of us at Just Dial and the award comes as a good feeler after all the hard work and perseverance of the past years. This is like a good pit-stop in the journey to rejuvenate and we are as ready to face the rest of it on a more roaring note.”
Mani started Just Dial from a small garage and turned it into what it is today. After the fate of Ask Me, Mani did not get disappointed or give up, rather started with even more vigour and made sure that he did not repeat the mistakes that were made at Ask Me.
“It's been an exciting journey,” added Mani. “We believed in the adage ‘Start small, think big’; we even had to wait for the right time either due to lack of capital or right ecosystem. We overcame lack of resources through creative and innovative approaches. As a company, we constantly evolved with the eco-system and so did our products. We rode the telecom wave, then the internet, and now we are riding the mobile internet wave.”
Not only Just Dial created internet success, but also managed to execute one of the most successful IPOs by an internet company. “It's a great feeling to culminate this phase with the resounding success of our IPO – that too in these difficult times,” remarked Mani.
While one would think Mani has achieved almost everything with Just Dial being present across all platforms, the man begs to differ. Mani has great vision for the future of Just Dial and plans to take it to a whole new level.
“We are trying to integrate the various aspects of day-to-day needs, a gamut of social cues, popularity scores, etc. and create a one-stop solution for all your needs. A year from now, we will definitely be closer to achieving that. We see a huge opportunity in what we call online to offline,” commented Mani.
Mani pointed out that currently they are focussed on building technologies that would empower small and medium businesses to tap the huge opportunity in the online world.
Mani has been the architect of his own life, who did not succumb to challenges. He is the man who has changed the face of customer service and telephone directories in India.