Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Ideas to Toss: Does India need a Unified Directory?

Posted on: February 12, 2008

I was thinking of this while I was sitting through a brainstorming meeting and there were heated debates on the monetization capabilities of local business search services such as what Google Local is doing.

Well, there are arguments for and against it and for one, I dont believe that vertical silos of the same information is going to help. Justdial has done a fabulous job (atleast more than most) in aggregating critical info and I came to know that they just shut down their shop in Chennai because they weren’t getting many calls they are apparently still going strong. I hear they are much bigger in Bangalore and Mumbai, but I do suspect that the percentage of floating population also contributes much towards the success and breaking point of these “local” services.

This idea is and probably will form a crucial element for the Mobile Caller ID service that I have been talking about. The basic concept is this: If you take all these mobile operators, all of them (vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, BSNL) all have their individual customer bases. What would it take to come up with a unified telephone directory that bridges all these networks so that people can look up numbers easily.

If such a directory is available, then it will also make sense and will make life a little easier when the Mobile Caller ID part kicks in, since it will only have to query a single database and find the identify of the caller and his name.

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2 Responses to "Ideas to Toss: Does India need a Unified Directory?"

I am sure floating population brings lot of new scenarios which remains unaddressed as of now.

One such is getting addressed at http://www.eventnu.com which lists all the major events from the various indian cities and send automatic alerts on emails.

Integration with google map are putting this site ahead of just paper based event ads.

Justdial is spot on. Throwing people at the problem which, in India, is cheaper than getting an high end technology.

The only problem is, some of the business practices of Justdial are questionable. I have heard couple of stories where personal information have been given up as leads to other services. Getting unwarranted calls on your mobile urging you to buy their service is something you dont particularly like. :)

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