Earlier this year, Infomedia Yellow Pages, Askme and Getit joined hands to form a unified operation to cater to SMEs. The combined entity referred to as ‘Getit Infomedia’ is now in a position to connect consumers and SMEs through multiple platforms and channels like print, WAP, web, Apps, voice and mobile.
Getit Infomedia is among the largest digital information and services provider in India with a wide, in-depth listing of businesses across Indian geography. The company also has alliances with Google, Yahoo, Nokia and telcos like Airtel, Tata, Reliance, Idea and more. Getit’s acquisition of Infomedia has further strengthened its reach and it now operates out of more than 100 cities in India catering to the need of the local SMEs and consumers.
Jaspreet Bindra, CEO Getit Infomedia, recently met YourStory.com to talk about the future of Getit and its expectation of returns from the SME space.
The 25-year old startup
Jaspreet believes Getit Infomedia is still a startup and will continue to be in that mode forever. “We are not a true blue corporate per say. I would like to think we are a 2000-staff, 25-year-old startup,” he says. Explaining the analogy, Jaspreet says the team, including him, have experience of working with startups and therefore understand startup ecosystem very well. The personal experience of the team puts them in a good position to understand the mechanics of the space and therefore extend services that startups would require most. As part of the restructuring, new members who have joined the GetIt team are better skilled in the digital space.
Another reason to think like a startup is to ensure there is continual innovation at GetIt. Jaspreet thinks there is less innovation happening in bigger companies. His last reason for thinking like a startup is because of GetIt’s ability to help SMEs scale which is the biggest problem that most startups face.
The focus of Getit Infomedia has always been on startups, and supplementing their services with a digital offering is helping them serve SMEs better. “GetIt was 97% a print unit and only three per cent digital about two-and-half years back. But today with the new focus, we are 85% digital and 15% print. Getit Infomedia works with two million SMEs across India, and we plan to reach 10 million in a couple of years,” says Jaspreet about the opportunity.
What can a startup get?
The answer to that question is the reach GetIt can give to offline business, through their online platform. Every company – big or small – recognizes the fact that SME opportunity that India provides is immense. Of the total 45 million SMEs in the country, only three million are online, and this is the market that GetIt Infomedia is targeting. “Say a customer wants to buy a fridge. Today, he will not go directly into a shop. Consumer behavior says that 77% of customers would go online, research, search where the fridge is available, compare brands and then make the decision. And if you as a white goods shop wants to talk to him, then you have to be online,” explains Jaspreet.
Every salon, medical store, crèche, gym, laundry or grocery shop owner is a potential customer for GetIt. So while everyone understands the importance of being online, not everyone is sure how to get there – which is where GetIt comes in. The company has a sales force of over 1,000 salesmen who talk to potential customers to convince them to get an online presence. “Many customers now call us on 44444444 to get information. But the increase in adoption of smartphones provides an opportunity to have mobile apps in India for local search. Customers will look for your business everywhere, and if you are not present, you will lose that customer,” explains Jaspreet.
GetIt is not the only company looking the SME way, the space also interests Google and GoDaddy – a fact Jaspreet understands. Thus he says collaboration will be the key to succeed in the digital world. GetIt has entered into partnerships with Verisign, Nokia and Yahoo! to help these companies reach out to SMEs. Their association with over two million SMEs, places GetIt in a good position and at least for now, it is advantage Getit!