A study conducted by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in collaboration with Cross Tab Marketing Services to track the demographics of online matrimonial match seekers as well as parallel online activities has unfurled some interesting observations. 69 per cent of the respondents who use the Internet for matrimonial search are males, while females constitute 31 per cent. More interestingly, 66 per cent of them also use the Internet to search for jobs.
The survey also found that a significant 28 per cent of the respondents who use the Internet for matrimonial purposes come from smaller cities, with the three metros amounting to only 43 per cent of the total users, dismissing the notion that the Internet is metro specific.
17 per cent of the respondents who use the Internet for matrimonial related activities are from Mumbai; 16 per cent are from Delhi; Chennai and Kolkata 6 per cent each; 5 per cent from Bangalore; Pune and Lucknow 3 per cent each; Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Cochin and Indore 2 per cent each; and Vadodara, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Jaipur, Kanpur, Nagpur, Patna and Thiruvanthapuram 1 per cent.
Maharashtra topped in netizens accessing the Internet for matrimonial purposes (25 per cent), Delhi was way behind at 16 per cent, 12 per cent were from Tamil Nadu, 7 per cent from Karnataka; 6 per cent each from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, 5 per cent from Madhya Pradesh, 4 per cent from Kerala; 3 per cent each from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, 2 per cent each from Assam, Bihar and Rajasthan, and 1 per cent each from Chandigarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Pondicherry and Punjab.
Commenting on the study’s findings, Anupam Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, People Group, which runs Shaadi.com, said, “The online matrimonial services business has been experiencing significant growth over the last few years on the back of a strong Indian diaspora. Over the next two years, we expect to see over 50 per cent growth in this segment driven largely by the need for a convenient matchmaking solution that works, increased Internet penetration in India, as well as the demographic profile of India – nearly 65 per cent of our population is under 35 years of age. One of the key drivers of this industry is that unlike traditional matchmaking solution, online matrimonial takes away geographical and spatial limitations and provides a platform to meet potential partners on a secure and private platform.”
According to Murugavel Janankiraman, Founder and CEO, BharatMatrimony.com, “Online matrimonial search services have skyrocketed in the last two years and matrimonial websites are continuing on the path of high trajectory growth garnering Rs 58 crore in 2005-06 and expecting to cross Rs 98 crore in 2006-07. There has been a surge in users from four million in 2004-05 to 5.5 million in 2005-06, and is estimated to grow to seven million users by 2006-07. A single important reason for this growth in the last one year can be attributed to the growing social acceptance, which has been fuelled by pure play Internet companies having offline centres spread across more than 50 cities, where not so savvy consumers are aided by executives to subscribe to multiple services as well as search the existing database first hand.”
Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder and CEO of InfoEdge, which manages Jeevansathi.com, estimates the market size to reach Rs 70-75 crore in 2006-07 up from Rs 50 crore last year. “The number of unique profiles added each year is in the region of 2-2.5 million,” he further said.