Bharat Matrimony, the online matrimony service provider, has ventured beyond the web to provide matrimony services through its chain of ‘Bharat Matrimony Centres’ from July 13. Announcing the inauguration of the first offline venture of the group, the company said that it had plans to set up 300 such centres across India as also in key markets globally in the next one-and-a-half years.
To begin with, Bharat Matrimony Centres will be set up in Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata in the next 30 days.
Addressing the media in Chennai, Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Bharat Matrimony Group, said, “The combination of leadership in the online space with in-depth reach of our offline initiative through the 3,090 centres will enable us to get closer to all our potential customers and service them in the best way – the way in which they prefer.”
According to the company, the centre would act as a friendly neighborhood marriage bureau. The first centre was launched at Chennai in Kilpauk on July 13 itself. While the next centre would open up at Hyderabad, a total of 100 centres are expected to be set up by March 2006. Simultaneously, in the next couple of months, Bharat Matrimony Centres are also expected to come up in the US, UK and Dubai.
Uday Zokarkar, Business Head, will be handling the project at the national and international levels. He explained, “There are a lot of customers who are not tech savvy, and would want to make use of the services. Net penetration, too, is less than 2 per cent and there is a huge offline market.”
The company is hoping to cash in on its huge database of 7.5 million members worldwide, and has launched the offline version with a verified base of 75,000 profiles from the online version.
The offline version is being offered in a three-tier structure with different membership options based on the number of profiles offered and their validity. Members will get validated contact details, including ‘whom to contact’, ‘when to contact’, etc. The initial target being looked at is 150 members per month in each of the centres, and the company hopes that this will double soon.
The idea is to get the prescription combination of ‘high-tech’ and ‘high-touch’ to work in synergy to get more people ‘happily hooked’. Presently, the offline market constitutes a number of players and is largely unorganised. The expansion of the network is expected to be in a phased manner through a franchisee network.