From Dropout to Dynamo: VSS Mani’s triumph with Justdial 

Today, whenever we require the address or contact information of any company, our first instinct is to turn to Google. Among the search results, one name prominently stands out: Justdial.

While we are familiar with the success story of Just Dial, now under the control of Reliance, the journey of its founder, VSS Mani, remains less explored. Little is known about the remarkable tale of how Mani, a college dropout, founded Justdial with a modest sum of Rs 50,000, subsequently revolutionizing internet search in India.

Let’s better understand the life and times of this college dropout turned entrepreneur, who nurtured Justdial from its humble beginnings into a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

Early Challenges and Entrepreneurial Spirit

Born in Jamshedpur, VSS Mani faced financial constraints that hindered his pursuit of higher education. Undeterred by setbacks, he embarked on a career with United Database India, nurturing dreams of entrepreneurship. The idea for Justdial emerged during his tenure there, driven by a desire to create a platform connecting buyers and sellers seamlessly.

The Birth of Justdial

In 1996, armed with determination and a vision for transformation, Mani established Justdial. Initially met with challenges, including the failure of his previous venture, Ask Me, due to limited phone accessibility, Mani persevered. Justdial capitalized on the Telecom Liberalisation Policy of the Indian government, expanding its reach alongside the proliferation of landlines and mobile phones.

Transformation and Innovation

Justdial’s journey was marked by continuous innovation and adaptation. Mani introduced new products and services, transforming the platform into a comprehensive search plus engine. The introduction of the official website, JD Omni for SMEs, JD Social for curated content, and JD Pay for digital payments reflected Justdial’s commitment to meeting evolving consumer needs.

The Reliance Connection

In a significant development, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, acquired a controlling stake in Justdial in 2021. This strategic partnership underscores the value and potential of Justdial as a key player in the search and discovery space.

Vision for the Future

VSS Mani’s visionary idea behind Justdial goes beyond providing a platform for information search. It aims to empower businesses without websites to thrive in the digital age, highlighting Mani’s commitment to driving inclusive growth and innovation.

In conclusion, the journey of VSS Mani and Justdial serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, showcasing the power of perseverance, innovation, and unwavering determination in turning dreams into reality.