Saturday, January 19, 2008

Online Matchmaking - We Just Clicked

Time Magazine has published a feature on matchmaking. Featured prominently in the article is Here is an excerpt from the article --

"India has a long history of and cultural comfort with matchmaking; as many as 90% of weddings are arranged, says Patricia Oberoi, a Delhi-based sociologist. There are 60 million singles ages 20 to 34, and 71% believe arranged marriages are more successful than "love" marriages. But with so many moving to cities or even abroad--up to a third of the population, according to the latest census--the Internet is proving preferable to the services of the village nayan. So-called matrimonial sites first appeared 10 years ago and today make up half the world's matchmaking sites. Like U.S. sites, they offer free viewing but charge about $40 to subscribe for three months. BharatMatrimony, a leading site, claims 10 million members and, in its 10 years, a million marriages. Another, named Shaadi, boasts 800,000 matches. Industry growth in India could be even more explosive than in China; users have doubled every year. Sales are growing 50% annually and reached $30 million in 2006. "Online matrimony has become a mainstream activity, like checking e-mail," says Uday Zokarkar, business head of BharatMatrimony.
Partly because India's matrimonial sites have already succeeded in wooing the nation, Western companies have hesitated at the door. "India is a very different business, and we just haven't got there yet," says Match's Enraght-Moony. For instance, sites there make matches on the basis of factors unfamiliar to outsiders, including caste, language and "character"--a euphemism for chastity. About 15% of profiles are filled in not by the prospective bride or groom but by their parents. And now Indian sites are challenging Western matchmaking companies on their own turf. Shaadi CEO Vibhas Mehta says 30% of its business comes from the U.S., Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Perhaps love needs no translation after all."

Read the full article at --,9171,1704691,00.html

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