Chief financial officer at Scoot.com, an online consumer information provider, Dorjee is relaxed about his company’s profit making prospects despite the fact that the last time it posted annual results it revealed a pretax loss of £26.6m – dwarfing Scoot’s £18.6m turnover.
But like many running Internet companies Dorjee, who has a substantial share holding in the firm himself, is playing a long game.
‘Of course we are a loss making company,’ he readily admits, but in the next breath quickly points out he believes this is not a problem.The firm is growing dynamically. In July 1999 its market value was put at £244m. In a year this has trebled to £700m.
Quite a performance for a firm started just four years ago.Scoot.com provides information to consumers and makes its money from listing fees paid by suppliers of goods and services.
Users can access the information either through the telephone or using the company’s website. In the UK alone (there are also operations in Holland and Belgium) there are 50-60,000 users and Dorjee boasts 70,000 hits per day for the group.
But these are due to grow as Scoot finalises a partnership deal with Vivendi to roll out the service across France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The rest of Europe, according to Dorjee, comes later.
‘We want to become a business you can access from anywhere,’ he says.As for profits, analysts say Scoot will be in the black by 2002.’We needed to spend a lot of money on marketing and setting up call centers. We are investing in the long term,’ says Dorjee.
And he is confident share holders will be satisfied when they see the annual report on January 17.’Of course people are expecting profitability but I think as long we can show trends are towards profits in each country there’s no issue.’