Q) Can you brief us about the traction on your website and how you achieved that?
Clickindia was started in April 2007 with a team of 5 people. We have, since beginning, focused on maximizing returns to the users, which in our case is responses per ad posted. Since this is a self funded company, we didn’t have enough cash to spend and gain traction. This turned out to be a boon for us because we were always level headed and focused on product development rather than just create a loud noise in the market.
By end of 2007, we integrated mobile with the website and launched innovative features, like ad posting via mobile, lead by sms, a mobile based site http://wap.clickindia.com/ & now sms based push to top service.
We have always listened to our users as they are the best critics of a product/service. Most of the features and services on the website have been, at some point of time, suggested by our users. So, regular interaction with them helps us innovate.
Since august 2008, we have grown 1000%. We now have over 5.5 million unique users a month and growing rapidly.
Q) Who are your major competitors?
Sulekha, craigslist india, quikr, olx
Q) Why online classifieds have not been a rage in India as they are in US with Craiglist?
That’s an interesting question. There are two major reasons for the same:
1. In India, we have a strong social support system – joint family. We have traditionally sought family’s help on routine search items like general utilities, education, housing etc. This is changing and as more and more people shift to nuclear families, this support system will realign. They will need to depend upon general information platforms like internet and mobile. Once this percolates down to tier 2 & 3 cities, we will see classifieds becoming a regular use service.
2. The overall internet population in India is limited. Even though it is said to be around 50million, a person accessing Internet atleast weekly is not more than 25-30 million (estimated). Out of this, people looking for search based information would be 15-20 million. This is not a critical mass when compared to US or other developed markets. This number would increase substantially in the next 3-5 years because of two things:
a. Broadband penetration and lower pc prices making it easily accessible
b. The young generation which is born in Internet era getting into mainstream economy
Once these two happen, people will get comfortable with the idea of trading used goods online, concept of garage sales will pick up here, which is very popular in US.
Q) How do you compete with classified vertical websites like naukri, magicbricks etc?
We are catering to both segment of users (companies & individuals) & hope to create a free market in future. We will remain a free classifieds business where users need not pay anything to post their ad.
Q) How is your website different from other classified websites?
4 major reasons why we have a strong word of mouth referral:
1. Clickindia is an extremely easy to use website. It takes an average 40 seconds to create an ad.
2. We have been able to generate genuine enquiries for our users and therefore have a fiercely loyal member base.
3. A quick search helps users find relevant information faster.
4. We have an advanced member section where users can keep track of their ads & responses.
Q) What is your revenue model?
We are presently 100% ad supported. We are exploring additional options but have not zeroed in on anything. However, one thing is for sure, we will keep ad posting free of cost.
Q) Are you planning any tie-ups with other brands?
We are looking for partners that help in expanding our reach and/or provide complementary services.
Q) Are you funded or looking for funds?
We are a self funded company as of now.
Q) Can you tell us about your team?
We have a team of 15 people with varied backgrounds looking after product development and operations.
Q) How are you leveraging the mobile platform?
We have been active in mobile since 2007.
1. We were pioneers in letting users post ads via mobile.
2. We have a “send free sms” system where users can receive responses directly on their mobile phones from prospective buyers.
3. Users can push their ad to top via simple sms which helps them generate more response.
4. Our mobile website http://wap.clickindia.com/ is very popular and currently gets 1 million page views a month.
5. Users can post their ads via our mobile site as well.
Online classifieds is a INR 800 crore business in India. In India we have many succesful vertical players ( jobs, matrimony and real estate ). Horizontal space has players like sulekha, quikr, craigslist, olx, clickindia and click.in. Rediff localads is also a noticable website providing free classifieds with “talk now facility”.