Sandhya Soman

A number of people are logging on to the Internet for their needs An increasing number of people are logging on to the Net for their needs People log on to their computers to buy a piece of land, sell their two-wheelers, post their resume... even to find the `ideal mate'.

  • User-friendliness of the various websites is a major attraction
  • Most hunt for property, houses, apartments, jobs in the Classifieds section

    CHENNAI: Thinking about placing an ad? You can reach many in the city by going online.

    People log on to their computers to buy a piece of land, sell their two-wheelers, post their resume... even to find the `ideal mate'.

    Talk to fresh-out-of-college Deepak Kasturirangan. He started off by helping his uncle with his real estate business. "Now I am doing the marketing bit." And how? "I just placed four ads online. It is cheap and I can do it from home. Besides, the reach is better. I get responses on my mail ID or mobile," explains the software engineer.

    According to him, the user-friendliness of the various websites is a major attraction. "With most responses, I get their mail IDs. These help me to send more details without bothering about noting down the phone numbers of those who call after seeing an ad in print," says Deepak.

    According to Sulekha.com's Vineet Pabreja, director, Sulekha's Local, 20 per cent of Chennai Classifieds' revenue is generated by the Internet edition, while the rest is from the print version. "We expect to reverse the trend in 18 to 20 months because the Internet edition of Chennai Yellow Pages, which we started six months back, has 1.5 lakh visitors a month. The Classifieds section has another 3 lakh visitors."

    Most hunt for property, houses and apartments, and jobs in the Classifieds section, while education tops the popularity chart when it comes to the yellow pages. According to Mr. Pabreja, once published, the print version cannot be updated for a year.

    On the other hand, "When Airtel numbers were changed, I was able to update them instantaneously on Sulekha." Moreover, with 100 new Internet users every month, there is more reach. "We are working with a vendor to make yellow pages available on all mobile phones," he adds.

    The BharatMatrimony Group has already gone beyond making hearts meet across the cyber world. Chief Executive Officer Murugavel Janakiraman talks about how ClickJobs.com, IndiaProperty.com, IndiaAutomobile.com and IndiaList.com happened last year, other than the flagship BharatMatrimony.com.

    "Chennai is one of the seven cities that has seen a tremendous growth. While we have 1.5 lakh registered members on BharatMatrimony, Clickjobs has another 1 lakh from Chennai," he says.

    Builders and automobile dealers are paying to appear online, according to him. "Within a month we will launch the online version of the yellow pages called India Pages." The future, he says, will be a mix of ads both in print and online, with the Internet being extensively used by second-tier cities such as Tiruchi and Madurai.

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