To my fellow Shareholders
Since Just Dial's founding almost 20 years ago we have only grown from strength tostrength earning the trust of our users SME partners and creating value for ourstakeholders.
As we began our journey I had a vision and how we would work towards bringing'convenience' at your doorstep. Bringing people together empowering small businesses andredefining user experience - not just for the next few years but over the next fewdecades.
One of the key aspects to the level- next growth for the country is 'internet'. Anincreasing number of the country's population is getting on to digital and internetbandwagon. With more than 250 million people using internet in 2015 it is expected morethan 500 million will be a part of the digital revolution by 2018.
The year 2016 started with a global and economic turmoil amidst weak aggregate demandfalling commodity prices and increasing financial market volatility in major economies.The rebalancing of Chinese economy UK's exit from the European Union the geopoliticalrisks in the Middle East the slowdown of the US economy and volatility in the emergingeconomies - are some of the factors that will shape the current year as we move on from amodest 3.1% growth in 2015.
However India continued to remain buoyant despite the globalchallenges. Withusefulreforms undertaken and bucket of reforms already announced that are yet to beimplemented the country is indeed poised to report strong economic growth in the nearhindsight. Increased exports higher capitalinflows and contained fiscal deficit helpedthe country report a GDP growth of 7.6% in 2015-16. Going ahead led by our dynamic PrimeMinister and his team the country sits on cusp of optimism backed by several growthfactors to emerge stronger in the coming years.
One of the key aspects to the level-next growth for the country is 'internet'. Anincreasing number of the country's population is getting on to digital and internetbandwagon. With more than 250 million people using internet in 2015 it is expected morethan 500 million will be a part of the digital revolution by 2018. As per governmentestimates the internet market will be worth $ 50 billion by 2018.
At Just Dial we continue to align ourselves with the evolving industry trendsreshaping our business model to ensure sustainability and growth. We are witnessingoverall trend in Indian e-commerce industry moving towards personalization: the definingof a unique emotional yet flexible experience. With the continuing development oftechnical solutions allowing for ever more interactive models e-commerce seemspredestined to fulfill such expectations. Personalized marketing and customized approachesbased on individual user requirements will gain importance in the coming years.
This shift was reflected in our operational achievements with more than a million newbusiness listings on our portal during the year under review taking the total listings to16.3 million. This was complimented by more than 242 million unique visitors (across ourmultiple platforms) during the year a growth of 11% from the previous year. On afundamental basis we executed financialdiscipline with our topline growing by 17.13% toH 6908.28 million for FY 2015-16 against H 5897.98 million in FY 2014-15. The profitafter tax witnessed marginal growth of 2.10% stood at H 1418.02 million for FY 2015-16against H1388.90 million in FY 2014-15. This was further reflected with improvedOperating EBITDA and PAT margins which stood at 24.69% and 18.92% respectively for theyear.
These financial matrices are a validation of our business model notwithstanding themacro and micro economic factors. Our confidence and faith in the SMEs and entrepreneurialspirit is today further fuelled by some major initiatives from the government as well.Right from 'Make in India' to 'Skill India' there is a spring in the step in the peopleof the country. This is complimented with the major drive to connect the country withinternet bridging the gap and enabling accessibility.
This digital synergy is only poised to make things better for the SMEs the users andour Company. For the SMEs we think the platform of Just Dial has been a 'game changer'.Our range of offerings (paid and unpaid listings) has not only been economical for thembut has helped them reach out to a vast target audience. Compare this to them setting uptheir own app or customised standard website which would not only be unfeasible but beless profitable. With us being their partners the SMEs have been able to scale theirbusinesses sustain their qualitative services / products widen their reach enhancetheir goodwill and create a sustainable livelihood.
Talking about users they have also reaped the rewards of digitisation with our 'lifemade easy philosophy.' Our belief in engagement was visible with people spending moretime on using our services. With underlying technical transition and evolution ofservices we witnessed significant increase in visitors across our multiple platforms.With the introduction of cross-functionality services and Search Plus we have empoweredbusinesses on one hand and enriched user experiences on the other.
From the Company perspective we have innovated in more ways than one. While SearchPlus continues to gain traction on ground we recently launched JD Omni - another gamechanging offering ready to change the e-commerce landscape of the country. Backed by cloudservices real-time data and customised convenience JD Omni will not only help SMEsconnect better but do business better with efficiency transparency and effectiveness.With use of JD Omni we remain committed to our goal of creating an enriched value system -more business for SMEs (online and offline) and enduring experiences for our users.
In terms of our ambit of services we further widened the basket adding new serviceslike - railway ticket booking buy insurance invest in mutual funds and bill paymentscab bookings among others.
With a widening ambit of internet options cheaper data plan cheaper smartphones highspeed data connectivity and increased traction on internet the entire eco-system ofonline and offline commerce inter-play moves to a new level. We look at this space withlarge users ensuring them with accessibility and availability to services and productsthat were earlier not thought of - all under one roof.
Our transition from being India's leading 'search engine player' to an emerging andpreferred 'search plus transact' player is what gives us the edge. From services thatdon't involve movement of physicalgoods (like a doctor's appointment) to buying grocerymedicines and more - are under a single eco-system called 'Just Dial'. Our strategy toleverage the entrepreneurial spirit of SMEs locally and create a balanced portfolio ofchoice for users is what will drive us ahead.
Increasing internet and mobile penetration growing acceptability of online paymentsand favourable demographics have provided the companies in the e-commerce sector in Indiathe unique opportunity to connect with their customers. Rising incomes and a largervariety of goods and services that can be bought over the internet is making onlinetransactions more attractive seamless and convenient for users all over the country.
Browsing trends have broadly shifted to mobile devices in India and online shopping isalso expected to follow suit as one out of three users currently makes transactionsthrough mobiles. Hence Just Dial is expected to benefit from such changing trends as weprovide a master app wherein all the facilities that are in the online space are availableat one place. We target to become a one stop destination for search and transactionsalike.
With growing internet mobile and web based penetration increasing acceptance ofonline payment systems we expect the online local search space and various othertransactions to witness robust growth in the near future. We continue to remain focused onnot just driving short-term profitability but on creating a business model for long-termsustainability. With an early mover advantage industryleading position integratedplatform technologically advanced infrastructure proven execution capabilities andstrong brand recall - we are well poised to lead the growth opportunity in this segment.
I thank all our shareholders for their continued faith in our strength andcapabilities customers for their valuable support and trust of our employees for theirtireless efforts towards achieving our set goals.
With warm regards
V. S. S. Mani
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer