"Our focus will be on establishing the Tinder brand in India & steering its explosive user growth" Taru Kapoor Tinder

A conversation with Tinder’s India Head, Taru Kapoor about the dating app, digital marketing, its future in India and their plans for the year 2016.

e4m by Vernika Awal
Updated: Feb 29, 2016 9:22 AM
"Our focus will be on establishing the Tinder brand in India & steering its explosive user growth" Taru Kapoor Tinder

With time, love and romance has evolved too. In this era when the world is literally on your fingertips, with one swipe to the right, you might end up finding “the one” for you. With the invasion of dating apps in the Indian market, meeting someone has become easier and quicker, and Tinder is one such app.

With its headquarters in Los Angeles, Tinder was launched in 2012 and presently has spread its wings to 196 countries. The app has crossed 100 million downloads globally and around 10 billion ‘matches’ have been made on this platform. When two people swipe right for each other, a match is made on the app.

India, the second largest smartphone market, is one of Tinder’s top five markets too in terms of growth rate. Tinder app downloads have increased by 400 per cent over the last year. 

We spoke to Tinder India’s Head, Taru Kapoor, an IIT Delhi and Harvard Business School Alumnus, who has also worked with Boston Consulting Group in the past, about the sudden shift of focus to India and its future in the Indian market.

India is amongst Tinder's top five markets in terms of growth rate, what do you attribute this growth to?

With over 160 million smartphone users, India is one of the largest and most exciting markets in the world. Indian youth are mobile-first global citizens and hence India is one of our fastest growing countries, with downloads increasing by more than 400% over the last year. We have grown rapidly and organically in India on the basis of positive word of mouth. This has come about due to the simplicity of the product and the large number of meaningful connections our users have forged through Tinder.  

We have received tremendous feedback from users in India, particularly women. This is why more than 14 million swipes happen every day on Tinder in India (an increase from 7.5 million in September 2015) and over a million super likes are sent every week.

In light of the focus of leveraging digital media for business, how do you think indirect/direct advertising on DM affects Tinder?

Tinder continues to grow rapidly and organically across the world. Currently our focus is on steering this explosive user growth and increasing engagement. Millennials today are avid consumers of digital content, and hence unsurprisingly, digital platforms are for us the most effective way of two-way communication by our savvy millennial audiences.

Recently, Truly Madly accused Tinder of blatantly copying their initiatives. What do you have to say to that? What sets you apart from your competition in India?

Tinder is the largest platform of its kind both globally and in India, and continues to grow rapidly every day. In India, Tinder has grown organically regardless of any competition. Tinder has changed the way that people meet and date around the world. We brought the dating experience to mobile, pioneered the double opt-in and swipe features, and broke down the stigma associated with meeting new people. We were also the first dating app to attract the highly coveted youth audience. These innovations make Tinder a more effective tool than real life when meeting someone new.  That is why Tinder has simply become the way people meet today around the world.

From time to time, fledgling platforms make amusing attempts to gain attention by associating themselves with Tinder in various ways. However, our focus is solely and entirely on ensuring we deliver the best experience and most value to our users. Our users are our biggest and best advocates.

Tinder's recent collaboration with TVF (The Viral Fever) shows the protagonist meeting his life partner on Tinder (Also seen in YRF's Bang BaajaBaraat) - So are you headed to becoming a near matrimony app? Is it some sort of image makeover for the Indian market?

Tinder facilitates new, meaningful connections and conversations. Our users say that Tinder is an effective way to meet new people. A match may lead to a fun date, a new friendship, a lasting relationship, a collaboration or partnership based on shared interests or even marriage. Tinder’s function is simply to make it easier for users to meet new, like-minded people – what happens after that is for you to decide. Tinder quite literally is what you make of it, which is why we are the biggest social discovery platform across the world.

Our users love to share with us the stories of the connections they have made using Tinder (https://www.gotinder.com/stories). We are humbled by and celebrate each of these stories, and they motivate us to work harder to innovate and provide an enriching experience to our users. There is a lot of organic content being made referencing Tinder since the app is so popular and such an integral part of our users’ lives. This content is a reflection of the stories and feedback we receive from our users as well.

The Viral Fever is one of the most popular online content creators in India. They approached us with the idea of bringing alive the Tinder app experience through a humorous sketch. We were excited to showcase to our users in India the possibilities that await them at every swipe. Tinder is built for people to connect on mutual interest. The app experience is designed in such a way that puts users solely in control of their interactions while also reducing the fear of rejection. The video brings out these aspects to life through an engaging storyline, and who better to do it than TVF, well respected for their creativity and quality content.

What are the plans for Tinder for the year 2016? What new features/campaigns the Indian users can expect?

Our focus will be on establishing the Tinder brand in India, steering its explosive user growth and increasing user engagement by focusing on local user needs.

The Indian market has evidently ‘swiped right’ for Tinder and has helped it establish firm roots in the country.

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