This business is a personal favourite. I believe that the achievement of scale in this segment has led various stakeholders to reaffirm their belief in the Indian Internet space !
The estimated size of online classifieds business is around US$ 55 million (INR 250 crores). It today is one of the larger online business segments in India and is growing at more than 100% y-o-y. In fact it is already started posing grave threat to the growth of the print business which is growing at a more sedate pace of 10-15%.
I am putting some of my estimated numbers:
Jobs / Recruitment
Print : Rs. 100 crores
Online: Rs. 200 crores
Total Classifieds business
Print: Rs. 500 crores
Online: Rs. 250 crores
All media: Rs. 12,000 crores
Online: Rs. 400 crores (including online classifieds)
Key takes from the above:
- Online classifieds business (Rs 250 crores) is larger than online advertising business wihtout classifieds (Rs. 150 crore)
- Online ad industry is just 3.3% of total ad industry. Whereas online classifieds are already 33% of the total classifieds business.
- Online classifieds as percentage to total online advertising at 62.5% is disproportionately large when we compare it with classifieds as percentage of total media advertising volumes which is at just 4.3%.
- Online jobs as a category is double the size of print already!
What is making online classifieds grow this fast? Two main reasons - firstly online medium helps fulfils the need better in classifieds space than the offline medium. Secondly, and more important is the aggressive sales approach taken by the online classifieds players. They have put a humongous number of feet-on-street to solicit listings from all kind of recruiters starting from large companies down to small businesses. Currently there will be more than 1,000 people selling listings of various jobs portals across the country.
It will remain interesting to observe the growth rates over the next 1-2 years of both print as well as online classifieds.
Update : 10th April 2006