The digital roadmap for India's small businesses
The long-term prospects for our business continue to remain bright as consumers andbusinesses shift to digital for better experience and higher opportunities.
It gives me great pleasure to connect with you once again through the year's AnnualReport. I hope that you and your families are safe and have been vaccinated or areplanning to get the dosage soon. The bygone year was unprecedented yet full of learnings.The pandemic took a heavy toll on people's lives. Situations exacerbated as livelihoodsacross the globe were impacted on account of lockdowns and social distancing measures.Mobility remained restricted which continued to cause supply chain disruptions.
Businesses with a digital presence thrived as they witnessed higher demand as peoplewere compelled to stay inside their homes and afterwards preferred to stay in for safety.Justdial is committed to serving as a catalyst for growth enabling small businesses tostay relevant in this rapidly digitalising world. We provide cost-effectivemulti-platform solutions to help businesses reach and pool more customers and take theirbusinesses from offline to online mode.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON INDIAN MARKETS
The pandemic impacted Indian markets heavily. The economy is estimated to havecontracted by 7.3% in FY21 as compared to a growth of 4% in FY20. However the impactcould have been worse had the government not provided timely stimulus for
people Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and Production-Linked Incentives(PLIs) for Businesses/MSMEs.
The RBI also synergised with decade-low rates and other market interventions such asloan moratorium restructuring packages to provide relief to the MSMEs providingtailwinds for economic revival.
INDIA THRIVES DIGITALLY
The pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation as more businessesrealised the importance of finding the customers where they are. Providing moreflexibility to customers and keeping pace with rising competition are factors fuelling theaccelerated digital transformation during COVID-19. In fact studies reveal that new andemerging enterprises are devising newer processes recalibrating operations and resettingcustomer engagements towards becoming a digital-first organisations to keep pace with thechanging times.
CATALYST FOR TRANSFORMATION
We guide MSMEs throughout their digital transformation journey leveraging cutting-edge technologies our vast industry experience huge database and a unique businessmodel. Our digital solutions provide cost-effective multi-platform local search servicesequipping businesses with new-age digital tools such as mobile-friendly website withintegrated payment gateways digital catalogues with images and videos ability to placerequest for quotations reverse auctions payment escrow services logistics services andconnectivity through email chat and call features that enable transactions.
All these features are powered by secure backend systems with scalable architecture.They are complemented by state-of-the-art analytics and artificial intelligence systems toprovide real-time business analysis. Simplicity and ease of use are the most attractivefeatures of all our solutions which can easily be embraced by even customers who are notso comfortable with technology generating universal appeal.
FY21 IN HINDSIGHT
Our core target segment - MSMEs were severely impacted due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Thisled to a 29.2% decline in our topline to ' 675.2 Crore and 21.3% decline in our net profitlevels which stood at ' 214.2 Crore during FY21. As a result of the lockdown imposed bythe government owing to COVID-19 we closed our offices during the last week of March 2020and moved to
Work from Home (WFH) for all employees. Post lockdown relaxations we opened ouroffices across India with limited workforce in line with government directives issuedperiodically. We took various measures to prioritise safety and well-being of employee;and are currently focusing on getting our employees fully vaccinated at the earliest.
To optimise discretionary costs the year saw us curtailing our advertising spends(both digital and non-digital) from April 2020 During FY21 we spent only ' 7 Crore onadvertising versus approximately ' 66.7 Crore spent in FY20. In FY21 a lot of our trafficvolume came organically (without advertising). In FY21 we had an average of 123.1 Millionquarterly unique visitors which declined by 19.7% YoY. Our advertising spends acceleratedrecently towards the en of FY21 to promote our newly launched B2E platform JD Mart. OurIPL 2021 campaign resulted in great branding and awareness about JD Mart among businesses.
To assist SMEs in these unprecedented times we launched various offers on our paiisubscriptions during FY21 including better discounts flexibility in activation ofcampaigi better payment terms among others. As a result we were able to arrest theimpact of COVID-19 on monetisation. With lockdown easing monetisation is on an improvingtrajectory however the impact of revised lockdown/restrictions owing to the recentoutbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 is being closely monitored.
In prioritising the safety and well-being of our employees we extensively leveragedtechnology in our operations this year. We have a strong Balance Sheet and robust caslposition we returned ' 220 Crore back to ot shareholders via buyback that we concludec inAug 2020 and we believe we shall be able to successfully weather the ongoinguncertainties and emerge stronger in the post-COVID era.
CONTRIBUTING BACK TO SOCIETY
At Justdial we stand by communities througl our social interventions especially inthe domain of education. Development of the Isha Vidhya Justdial Matriculation School onof our key CSR initiatives continued in FY21 albeit with certain disruptions and I feelimmensely satisfied in seeing this school and its curriculum take the children of theregion on a learning and growth journey.
THE NEXT PHASE OF POSSIBILITIES
With JD Mart we are traversing new terrains of growth offering discovery andtransactions for millions of products. Buyers can discover quality vendors offering a wideselection of products to choose from spanning diverse categories to suit all their needs.Going forward we plan on diversifying our platforms with more such niche offeringscatering to specific market segments. JD Xperts will be one such offering focusing onservice- providers allowing users to book the services directly from the app or webplatform for the location and time of their choice. These initiatives lay a robustfoundation for the new growth orbit which we refer as JD 2.0.
JD 2.0 is our agile response to continue staying ahead of the curve and maintain ourmarket leadership.
Customisation is an important feature which millennials prefer in any service. We areplanning to launch a self-service platform that will enable advertisers to sign up for anyof our services on their own by using the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mode. Additionally we areplanning to add JD Partner and hyperlocal services which will fast-track growth. We areconfident that these offerings will make a difference in the lives of our customers andbring in higher returns for our investors.
The long-term prospects for our range of offerings continue to remain bright as moreconsumers shift to the digital mode for enhanced business visibility and prospects.
I would like to conclude this message with a vote of thanks to my fellow Board memberswho helped the Company ably navigate the distressful times. I also express my gratitudetowards our leadership team and our passionate team members who relentlessly executed thestrategies devised by the Board. To our stakeholders including users customers thegovernment and above all to you - our shareholders I wish to express my gratitude forreposing your faith in our capabilities. Let us all come together to emerge on thestronger side of the storm.
V. S. S. MANI
Founder MD and CEO