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Info Edge Q1 2008-09 Earnings Call – Investment Strategy; On Competition From Makaan, Shine, LinkedIn; All The Numbers

Download the Audio: Info Edge’s Investment Strategy – looking at investments, not acquisitions? (1.8mb)

Is Info Edge Spreading Itself Too Thin?
(Ref: Too many verticals – Recruitment, Offline, Matrimony, Real Estate, Professional Networking, Education…)
Depends on the quality of leadership we’ve built at different levels in the company. Hitesh and I spend minimal time on Allcheckdeals and Quadrangle – there are strong business leaders and teams there. Brijj doesn’t take up too much of our time. We are focusing on the businesses that count, for now.

On Competition From Shine, Makaan And LinkedIn
Makaan: is a distant number 3 or number 4 in the market. While they’re aggressive on the advertising front, we (99Acres) don’t see an impact on the sales side. Having said that, this is a nascent market, and all the sites are very very new. We’re just trying to get customers to use the medium.
Shine: is not really in the market because. A Rs. 15 crore adspend is less than half of what we spend in a year. A database of 1.5 crore CVs and 45000 mods everyday, and 15000 new CVs every day…I think Shine is still at a fraction of that. If you look at our database – we have double the number of CVs in our database than the readership of the Times of India. I don’t see the media power of HT being useful to them in any way.
LinkedIn: Market estimates for LinkedIn for India is roughly 1 million. We have around the same, and can push the numbers, but the key is in increasing networking and engagement, to increase the quality of the networks and add some more product features to differentiate it from offerings in the market. We’ve launched a contest to encourage engagement – and it targets current registered users, not new users. A site like this either becomes viral, or you have a problem.

All the numbers

— Topline growth will be between 35-50 percent for this financial year
— Headcount: about 1800, 1200-1300 in Naukri, some corporate, and rest new businesses. Company gives increments in April. Headcount additions in new businesses
Advertising Spends: spent Rs. 48 crores in advertising last year, budgeted for 25-30 percent increase this year. But because of product improvements, competitive advertising lower, could be around 55 crores, but will review Quarter-on-Quarter
— Cautious about economic environment in Q2

Recruitment (Naukri + Quadrangle)
— 88 percent of operating revenue is recruitment
— grew at around 31 percent in Q1, over same quarter previous year
— 85000-90000 job postings on Naukri for the quarter. (Flat?) Trying to ensure there are no duplicate listings, so quality of the database is good.
— EBITDA margins were close to 47 percent
— The top 10 percent of the clients contributed 63 percent of the revenue.
— Number of recruiters – 18536
IT companies
— IT Revenue growth in this quarter is 16 percent
— Dependence on IT down to 27 percent of Naukri corporate sales
— Are keeping lateral hiring where it is, but are positive in outlook.
— Demand side could increase in Oct-Dec.
Advertising Spend: will be 55-60 percent of total advertising spend. Will not cut back on adspend to defend margins, but will cut back if our goals are being achieved with lower adspend.
— Infrastructure has grown by 37 percent and all other verticals including recruitment consultants have grown by 33 percent.
Reduced Prices? Haven’t reduced prices on the average. Are pushing some of the lower price packs. You may see the average price per customer come down, but older customers are paying as much, if not more.
— Small accounts team – initially there was attrition. Now we’ve have a field sales team which looks at small accounts in the branches, and made progress in setting up a central Delhi sales team, going to focus on low value customers. Very big customers will handled by key accounts team, mid sized will handled by retail sales team, and small accounts will be addressed centrally by a Delhi sales team.

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More on – Jeevansathi, 99Acres, Brijj, Allcheckdeals and Applect –

Non Recruitment
— 12 percent of operating income
— EBITDA losses – Rs. 7.4 crores, in Q1, opposed to 4.2 crores in Q1 last year
— Grew 71 percent over same quarter previous year
— Profiles: “ever added” profiles increased to 2.53 million as on June 30th 2008, 2.36 million as on March 31st
— Paid users – 22604
— Average revenue per user – 1642 (up from 1490 from last quarter Q4-2008)
— Estimated Market Size – about Rs. 110-120 crores last financial year
— Net Sales grew at 44% in Q1 2008-09, over Q1 2007-08
— EBITDA losses – Rs. 1.8 crores up from Rs. 1.3 crores for the same quarter last year
— Offline: 4 centres up and running, and a few more in the pipeline. Break-even may be delayed a bit.
Market data available is not very reliable, but our sense is that while 99Acres is number 1 in terms of traffic, it is not as far ahead of the others as Naukri is. The task to increase the traffic share, apart from listings and builder-broker-developer use, because that’s when EBITDA margins really shoot.
— 112 percent Growth
— 253,900 listings
— 126,618 paid listings
— 2318 paid transactions
— 2170 paying customers
Typically, professional networking sites dont spend on advertising. Getting new registrations is not a challenge.
— 1 million profiles
— Adding 5000+ profiles per day.
— over 100,000 listings. Most of these are not paid.
— Strategy: It’s a free listing, because we want massive aggregation, and will have premium listings. There are paid products and we are seeing some small revenue coming in. A large part of Shiksha’s value come from the fact that we’re positioning it as the starting point for educational search.
— Began online marketing a week ago.
— Sales team in place, some clients in place
— Was earlier operating in 99acres brand name
— Over 300 transactions in 12 months
— Many entrepreneurs who are starting up, but seasoned, are reluctant to give minority stake. Many of these companies will require next round of capital raising, and we’ll take it as it comes.
— Applect is not a marketplace, but it’s a compelling concept
— Applect is getting into a new line of business, and moving away from its old line of business – a change in focus.
(More on Applect in the audio)

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