We facilitate 25K coffee dates per week in India: Shruti Gupta, Brand Manager – OkCupid

Gupta speaks about the factors that give OkCupid an edge over its competitors, its India-focused efforts and why a person is more than just photograph on the dating app

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Published: Feb 19, 2020 8:29 AM  | 5 min read
Shruti Gupta, OkCupid

Do you look for a partner who feels the same as you on CAA or NRC? How important is sharing similar world views for the right match? Dating apps these days are taking compatibility to an all-new level. Apps like OkCupid are coming up with India-specific features to ensure higher customer engagement with the audience.

The total revenue shared by Match Group, the American dating brand's parent company, is $547 million in Q4 of 2019, up by 20 per cent compared to the previous year's quarter. Their average subscribers increased 19 per cent to 9.8 million, up from 8.2 million compared to its corresponding quarter in 2018. ARPU increased by 1 cent to $0.59. The company’s focus is now on India with a wide scope and just two prominent competitors in the segment -- Tinder and Bumble.

 “What distinguishes OkCupid from every other dating service is that while most dating apps match individuals on their physical location and something as superficial as a good selfie, OkCupid believes that you are much more than a picture. When seeking a serious relationship through traditional connections, parents and matrimonial services don’t take into account an organic expression of one’s ideas, opinions, values and preferences. The loss of control, interaction with a potential partner through his/her parents and the framing of identity through 'slim, fair, homely and cooks well' or 'tall, macho and has a high income', make this a largely frustrating pursuit for millennials. An overwhelming 92 per cent of OkCupid’s users feel their values vastly differ from their parents’, and a majority of them (79 per cent) also do not believe they echo their friends’ choices. The numbers clearly establish them as a group of people who choose individuality over anything else and greatly value what they want, which is very different from what others want for them,” Shruti Gupta, Brand Manager, OkCupid India.

Shruti runs brand marketing for OkCupid India, where she leads efforts to scale user growth and develop the brand’s strategy for India

Adding, “At OkCupid, we recognise that as a young single you are looking for a partner who shares your interests, values, quirks and deal-breakers to create connections of substance. A partner whose ideals in life are aligned with yours and not prescribed by your parents, society’s or friends’ checklist. This is a connection of deeper things from views on combating climate change and a stance on gender rights, to what an ideal lazy weekend should feel like.”

The dating app believes that an individual is much more than a picture on the app. “Our users answer a series of questions about themselves and about what they are looking for in a partner while setting up their profiles. The app requires answers to a minimum of 15 questions but we have found Indian users answering an average of 50 questions each week on topics ranging from politics to feminism to lifestyle choices. When the app was launched in India, we had made it a point to contextualize some questions to Indian politics and voting. While we found that a number of people answered the questions very few marked them as deal-breakers,” Gupta shared.  

 When asked how they are popularising their offerings in terms of marketing and advertising in India, Gupta told us, “We have been in India for some time now, but a growing interest in meaningful connections has encouraged us to localize the service and make it highly relevant to our Indian audiences and their preferences. Most of the early work was focussed on the product itself and making the questions that inform the algorithm meaningful to Indians. ‘Find My Kind’ is our first 360-degree brand campaign and the response has been incredible. Our social media channels and content partnerships throughout the year allow us to clarify OkCupid’s purpose all year round.”

 The international dating app has been helping people in making meaningful connections for more than a decade. Nearly 60 million daters have used OkCupid to find connections, and today around 50K drinks/coffee dates take place each week thanks to OkCupid.

 “In India, OkCupid has over a million users and we facilitate 25K coffee dates per week,” Shruti highlighted. 

 Asked how important is India market in the global scenario, she emphasized, “Unlike the markets in the west where dating is a norm, the concept is still in its nascent stages in India. However, social acceptability around dating is definitely increasing. India has one of the youngest populations in the world with over a third of its population -- 400 million -- is born after 1982. This massive millennial population is spurring the demand for instant services and solutions that simplifies their lives, whether it’s shopping online or running errands. And dating is no different. Indian millennials, today, want to have a say in their career choices and their love lives. To cater to this, OkCupid was soft-launched in India in September 2018 where we were working towards localizing it to cater better to our Indian users so that they can actually match on what matters to them most.”

 “We realize that India is so culturally different and diverse, and what matters to the Indian singleton might not matter to someone in the West. Also, the mindset of the Indian user is also evolving with millennials aspiring for a completely different relationship than their parents. We believe OkCupid fits perfectly into this changing landscape as we really care about what you care about and match you to on the basis of the same. India will continue to be an important geography for us with energy focused on building a superior product and encouraging a community of kindness where you can celebrate your story and find meaningful matches through it. In the nature of the internet OkCupid is available for use across the world with focussed efforts in Asia, Europe, Australia and the US,” she concluded.

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