POLITICS

This man started ‘Indian Google’, received Rs 1332 crore from Mukesh Ambani for…

VSS Mani is native of Tamil Nadu. He was born in a middle-class family.

VSS Mani neither had the money nor business experience. Despite this, he created ‘Indian Google’ from his garage. The company he founded, Just Dial, nowadays helps everybody find the contact details of shops, electricians, mechanics, restaurants and hotels etc. It has the potential to cater to people’s every need. Mani thought big. He created a digital directory. His company became such a hit that even Mukesh Ambani showed interest in it. Here’s the story of Just Dial.

VSS Mani is native of Tamil Nadu. He was born in a middle-class family. He did his graduation from Delhi University. He later worked as a salesman. He wanted to become a chartered accountant but had to work to financially support his family.

In 1989, he started a company named AskMe. It didn’t work. In 1992, he opened a wedding planning magazine. Even that didn’t work for him.

He later worked for a company linked with yellow pages and telephone directory. He took inspiration from this and started Just Dial. He funded the company from his own savings.

Just Dial was first a telephone service. He got the benefits of the 1996 telephone liberalization policy which made it easy for people to get a phone connection.

When internet became popular in India, the company launched the internet version. It became a runaway success. The company’s valuation was Rs 4000 crore in 2007. It brought an IPO. 

In 2021, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail paid Rs 3497 crore to buy his stake in Just Dial.

Mani received Rs 1332 crore for his shares. He is still the CEO of the company.

In 2021, Reliance Retail bought 67 percent of Just Dial, including shares held by VSS Mani. According to reports, Reliance paid Rs 2165 crore for the new shares, Rs 1332 crore for Mani’s stake and Rs 2200 crore for the open offer. They paid Rs 5700 crore for the majority stake at a valuation of Rs 8,500 crore.

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