as simple as a phone call

One of the basic challenges of any transaction is to bring buyers and sellers to a common place. This need gives rise to local markets. However, the scale and complexity of transactions today requires a more efficient way of bringing parties together. This is where JustCall Nepal comes in.

JustCall Nepal provides information – from details of all restaurants that serve Continental cuisine in Jhamsikhel to pharmacies in Baluwatar. While it sounds similar to dialing 197 for help, JustCall Nepal claims to be different. If you are looking for a particular service in or around a certain location, JustCall provides you with options tailored to your specifications.

Although the company was launched in September last year, the actual work had begun much earlier. Founded by Sagir Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Anish, the company started initial work a year ago. Firstly, their team did some market research – consulting taxi drivers, plumbers, restaurateurs, media clients, entrepreneurs and other service providers. Speaking of their initial research phase, Ullas Makrati, Brand Manager says, “The research phase helped us set our goals, and know exactly what to expect.” He further adds, “according to Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), there were 10 million mobile phones in the country in 2011. That represents roughly one mobile phone line for every three inhabitants. It’s pretty evident from the data that we’re all going digital. This was a major morale booster.”

5000 companies have already registered with JustCall Nepal. According to Makrati, the company receives around 1000 calls every day, from 100-150 per day initially. He adds, “Our main focus has been to provide the best service. We want our service to be simple and convenient.” JustCall has incorporated SIT technology, the auto responding mechanism used by call centers as well as Ncell for its communication methods. Stressing on their commitment to customers Makrati says, “We are investing as much as we can to ensure that our service is up to the mark.”

Despite their seemingly flourishing performance, there are challenges that the company still needs to overcome. One of the more serious ones is that it is still new to people and many haven’t understood the concept yet. “People confuse it with 197, and argue that we are offering the same service,” says Makrati. “What they don’t understand is that our service suggests likely options for you to choose from, based on your need. If you are looking for a plumber in Thamel, we give you the number of plumbers around Thamel area. All that 197 does is provide you with the phone number of an organization, whose name and profile you already know.”Familiarizing people with this new idea, and convincing them that they need this service is perhaps the main challenge for the company.

Six months after its launch, the company is now focusing on marketing and expanding its services beyond Kathmandu. “The corporate world has been quite welcoming till now, and they have shown interest in the idea. Working on the user side, we are trying to spread the word through social media, as well as traditional print media.” Hopeful about the future, Makrati adds, “JustCall is limited to Kathmandu right now, but we are going beyond Kathmandu too soon. Eventually, we hope to take JustCall nation-wide.”

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