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Nigeria: VConnect - Bridging Information Gap Between Sme's And Consumers

Nigeria's largest local search engine, VConnect has continued to bridge the information gap between information seekers and suppliers, using the online platform in connecting and growing several businesses in the country. Since its launch in March this year, several businesses have been registered on the platform, thus revolutionising the way businesses are done in Nigeria.

The need for safe and reliable online business, no doubt, informed the choice of VConnect in getting quick and detailed online information for business growth. The new platform, which provides data through web-search and tele-search, is open to any form of information on products and services ranging from hospitality, entertainment, addresses of organisations, government agencies, spots, education, among several others at no cost, thereby helping people to connect anytime any day with ease and convenience.

Information seekers are to log on to www.vconnect.com, to access information through the web-search or through a dedicated hotline on 070 0000 8888 using tele-search at no additional cost. Over 230,000 Nigerian businesses are currently listed on VConnect database.

Speaking on the importance of the platform to business developmenty, General Manager, VConnect Global Services, Deepankar Rustagi said the company was set to revolutionise information services industry in Nigeria by providing information whenever where and without any additional cost.

Rustagi revealed that the main objective of VConnect was to provide accurate information to the users with the aim of becoming the most reliable and most used local search engine for every information seeker in Nigeria.

"We observed that in daily routine, people look out for certain information relating to products and services around them like, where can I get this?, who can give me the best service?, how do I get their contacts? VConnect provides ready answers to these questions through two channels which are web-search and tele-search," Rustagi said.

He explained further that VConnect would allow local businesses to register on the portal free of charge while offering them a platform to advertise to consumers at affordable rates. He noted that the service would improve the connectivity between the customers and goods/services providers leading to quick and better buying decisions. "Most often, we look for information around us like where is the closest restaurant, need phone number or contact for diesel or cooking gas supply or we could be in need of emergency services like hospitals, ambulance services, fire service or even the Police in our local area, all this information you can get through VConnect" He noted.

Commenting on how VConnect will assure the public of the authenticity of the information provided by the business owners to protect the consumers, Rustagi said VConnect have a dedicated large field team that gather information and verify the businesses before they are registered and made public for the users.

Director, VConnect, Deepak Singhal described VConnect as a large scale initiative which would be an avenue for every business to be registered regardless of size and financial strength thereby creating a level playing ground and helping small and medium scale businesses to grow.

"A service like this can be of use in various ways. When there is a need to meet a new client or when you are looking for a new restaurant or something different from the usual, or in an emergency situation looking for nearest police station or Fire Brigade or Ambulance or even a blood bank, all that the customer need do is to call 070 0000 8888, for instant response. It is the VConnect tele-search, which provides information from 9am to 10 pm daily,"Singhal said.

Information about events and movies, according to him, are also available at www.vconnect.com and customers could find out which movie is playing in which theatre. The best part is that all this is available at no cost. We can access all this information for free, he said.

Apart from individuals, business owners can also benefit from the online search engine. Business owners can register their business with VConnect free at no cost, and what this does is that, it helps people to locate their business when they are searching for the products and services in which their business deals with. Registering with VConnect guarantees the business details about the products, services, brands, pictures, videos, among others.

VConnect also provides various other economical value added packages with which all business can reach their ready buyers. VConnect does websites of Small and Medium scale Business Enterprises (SMEs) for as low as N3, 000 per month and this includes all charges and maintenance.

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