The call came. Pretty much as advertised. Within the hour. “Sir, I can see that you have not updated information about your business?”

Yes. I have not. I am not sure if I must, I’m still deciding.

“So, see this is a free listing. We don’t charge you any money for it. But you can also go for a paid listing, sir.”

Ok.

“So, with the paid listing Just Dial is offering you three services. If anybody is looking for your business on the website, they will be able to see it. If anybody is looking on the app, they will be able to see it. Also, if anybody calls our Just Dial number, we will share your listing with them on SMS. Do you understand, sir?”

Yes.

“So sir, would you like to hear about our packages? We offer many packages but our cheapest package starts at Rs 20,000 a year, sir. In that, you will get the listing where you can add as many as fifty photographs and one video. You can create a login, password and you can change the photographs. So, sir would you like to go for this package?”

I’m not sure…

“See, Ashish sir, speaking with you, I can make out that you are interested in the package. See it is good for your business, sir; your business will grow. Tell me if the price is too high, sir…”

It is. I need to think about this.

“See, Ashish sir, right now we have a scheme…”

What scheme?

“So, we have told our management that there are many customers who cannot afford the Rs 20,000 package. The management has heard us and has asked us to take down their name, number and their business details. So, sir, can you tell me your business details?”

No. What’s the price of this package?

“Sir, this we are selling at Rs 12,000 for one year but to avail the scheme, I will need more details which I need to share with the management, so can you share the details with me, sir…”

Not right now. Let me think about this and get back to you.

Needless to say, the sales agent called again, and again. He was persistent.

There is only one way to say this. For a good five years now, Just Dial has epitomised good, old entrepreneurship and perseverance in a fast-changing world. From printed classifieds directories to apps on a smartphone, both, how we look for information and Just Dial have come a long way. It is not for nothing that the company has a market capitalisation of Rs 3, 736 crore, as of 30 January 2018.

AUTHOR

Ashish K. Mishra

Ashish edits and writes stories at The Ken. Across subjects. In his last assignment, he was a Deputy Editor at Mint, a financial daily published by HT Media. At the paper, he wrote long, deeply reported feature stories. His earlier assignments: Forbes India magazine and The Economic Times. Born in Kolkata. Studied in New Delhi – B.Com from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Works out of anywhere, where there is a good story to be told.

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