The Internet & Online Association (IOA) has found, in a research study on ‘Online Matrimonial Search’, that over four million subscribers choose internet as a viable medium for searching eligible brides and grooms.
The study has shown that whereas the market size in 2003-04 was worth Rs 6 crore, the estimated market size in 2004-05 will zoom to Rs 20 crore, and in 2007-08 it is sure to touch Rs 80-crore mark. While online matrimonial search subscribers numbered 2.25 million in June 2003, in October 2004 the number rose to four million. The research also shows that the fastest growing age group is 25-34 years.
Commenting on the huge growth in online matrimonial search, Preeti Desai, President, IOA, said, “The growth is impressive and can be attributed to the unique search-and-match functionality or the fact that it starts as a free service and makes individuals and families pay only when convinced. Its wide acceptance will be further propelled by the fact that there are four million highly eligible Indians searching for appropriate partners from India as well as other countries like the US, the UK and the UAE.”
The advantages that online matrimonial search offers over traditional match making include the scope to know a prospective candidate through e-mail, online chat and phone calls without revealing their identity until they are comfortable to do so; and privacy and confidentiality, which women prefer.
According to S Suresh, Business Head, BharatMatrimony.com, “Internet definitely has more benefits than other mediums in life partner searching. Every search query that is put forth by the user returns with a wide choice, thereby improving the quality of matches and hence making it a growing and preferred medium.”
Sanjay Trehan, Chief Executive – Internet, Hindustan Times, said, “The online matrimonial classifieds are replete with exciting possibilities, as better search, wider reach and real-time environment lead to more customer benefits. However, it is critical to maintain the credibility and integrity of the database. At Hindustan Times, we are planning to add more value to our online offering, HTMatrimonials.com, which is aligned with our print product.”
According to Debasis Ghosh, Head, IR & Public Affairs, Rediff.com India, Rediff Matchmaker is one of the fastest growing communities on the Rediff website “as demonstrated by the over two-fold growth achieved in our matrimonial subscriber base over the past year. This growth was achieved on the back greater customer delight experienced by our users due to the introduction of superior features like the unique message management system allowing for threaded and referenced interaction and state-of-the-art contextual search facilitating better matches”.
Shrinath Mithanthaya, Group Product Manager, Shaadi.com, says that when it comes to marriage, “every individual's deepest desire is to arrange his or her own love marriage”. He added that Shaadi.com understands this perfectly, and “helps customers transform virtual matchmaking into a real and delightful experience with detailed profile, multiple photos, video clips, live chat, etc.”