Sulekha aims at Rs 1800+ crore business per annum
Sulekha bets big on its local services platform
On July 19, 2017, Sulekha, India’s largest and fastest growing digital platform for local services, won an award. It’s for the ‘Best App’ at the Global Mobile App Summit Award (GMASA) in the Lifestyle category. GMASA is the largest event on mobile innovations. The award recognizes excellence in mobile apps development and marketing. The mobile apps were reviewed by the jury on the basis of content, structure and navigation. The other parameters included visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience.
In an interview with I Am An Entrepreneur, Satya Prabhakar, founder and CEO of Sulekha spoke about the aspects Sulekha excelled in to bag the award. The company also elaborated on its decision to transform its local services platform and his future growth plans.
A selected excerpt of the interview:
What made Sulekha bag the award?
The selection was not based alone on singled out aspects. It was also on the overall scoring of the parameters in all the three stages. The nominations were then reviewed on the parameters and a cumulative score across was calculated to decide on the winner.
Sulekha scored the best across structure and navigation, visual design, functionality and interactivity through all the stages of the process. For content and overall experience Sulekha app was rated the best in two stages.
How does it feel to get the award? In what ways will this award benefit Sulekha?
Sulekha has obtained several awards like mBillionth award for best business oriented app, best viral promotion ad, best TV commercial award etc. in the last couple of years.
These awards are a validation that Sulekha’s local services platform is delivering enormous value to its base of 200 million+ users who visit us each year – and translate into 19 million unique consumer needs for a variety of services.
We are focusing intensely on delivering value to the 60,000+ paid service partners who receive these consumer needs. We plan to convert them to nearly Rs 1800+ crores of business p.a.
Sulekha has completely changed its local services platform in the last 18-24 months compared to its services prior to 2015 - What made you instrument these changes?
With 210 million users and 18 million user needs per annum Sulekha has now emerged as the largest digital Local Services firm. Sulekha was focusing on its yellow pages listings platform prior to 2015. The company found success in delivering intelligent match-making between its users and service partners through its local services platform. Hence, we made several bold changes from its past.
We laid emphasis on local service needs capture rather than on merely providing yellow pages-like business listings. For example, today from Sulekha homepage, it is not possible to browse business listings of the form that you see in print yellow-pages
We ensured a detailed need capture by asking 60,000+ questions across 200+ categories. This makes the need capture very detailed.
We also captured responsiveness of the needs that are filled to the tune of 19 million+ p.a. at current run-rate. Another change implemented was measuring how many of the service needs are fulfilled by our 60,000+ paid service partners
These modifications have resulted in strong sales growth for Sulekha and increase in user and service partner satisfaction at Sulekha.
What are the future growth plans for Sulekha?
Sulekha intends to make its local services platform superior in terms of both technology and process intelligence.
Currently Sulekha collects 50 lakh+ data points on its users and customers each day. While some of this makes Sulekha’s processes more intelligent – there is lot more work that can be done through a combination of big data, AI and advanced analytics to provide an even better experience to both consumers and paid service partners.
Sulekha aims to continue its fast reach and revenue growth and serve its consumers and service partners better in the next 18 months. We will continue to serve consumers whenever they have a service need – with even more useful features as part of its mobile app.
Where do you see Indian mobile app start-ups in next five years?
Sulekha used to get less than 30 per cent of its traffic from mobile app and mobile web in mid of 2014. Now we get 65 per cent of all traffic from mobile web and mobile app.
It is entirely possible that 90 per cent of all traffic will come from mobile web and mobile app from early 2019. Millennials are leading the revolution of a mobile-centric life, with almost no access to a desktop or laptop for most of their personal need.
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