Recently iBluebottle started its marketing campaign on Facebook and we asked all our friends to spread the word. Many of our friends are already married but we figured they would have friends and relatives who could be our target market. Most of them have been gracious enough to help us out.
But a few refused to oblige. They did not say as much but we deduced that they somehow thought it uncool to admit any connection with a matchmaking website. Specially so when they themselves were single. And specially, specially so when they were already registered on all the biggest matrimonial websites!
There was another manifestation of this sentiment. One of the comments a friend got after she wrote about our matching engine on her wall was: “makes me shudder”.
It is unclear what made her shudder but we can safely assume that pleasure wasn’t probably the source of her convulsions. Most likely she wouldn’t want to be caught dead having anything to do with an online matchmaking website. Maybe she is a “love-marriage types” who can’t comprehend how people can’t just bump into someone interesting, fall in love and marry. Or maybe she is totally against the institution of marriage.
So who or what made online matchmaking uncool in India? The world over people do not have any qualms about finding a partner on dating websites and admitting it. But ask any Indian and he is likely to admit it only under severe duress and that too with a grin a sheep would be proud of.
It cannot possibly be the revulsion for “arranged” marriage because online matchmaking is far removed from the traditional “arranged” marriage setup. There is nobody arranging anything for you. The parents are mostly reduced to occasionally badgering you and forwarding you profiles from the neighbourhood marriage bureau run by Sheela aunty.
Maybe it is just semantics – dating as opposed to matrimonial - that people find uncool. Or maybe it is some sort of a misplaced inadequacy syndrome that tricks you into thinking that if you can’t find a match offline you are a loser.
It appears that a third factor could probably be the main culprit – the downmarket reputation of the existing matrimonial websites. This reluctance-to-be-associated is analogous to what brand-conscious people experience if they are forced to carry a cheap brand shopping bag in the full view of their more exalted peers.
Unfortunately the crappy reputation is not entirely unjustifiable. If you are a top professional with good academic background and earnings, you are likely to get drowned in a sea of unsatisfactory profiles that have expressed interest in you. This is a natural consequence of millions of average profiles trying to get attention of the far fewer top ones.
Also there is no way of knowing if the guy who says that he has an MBA from a top school is not just a prankster angling for some unsavoury fun at your cost. On all of the existing matrimonial websites you could damn well choose to be whoever takes your fancy and start browsing. This misrepresentation coupled with the Indian tendency to embellish credentials makes for a disastrous experience for the genuine candidate.
Here at iBluebottle we are trying to re-establish what online matchmaking really is – a platform with unsurpassed reach that helps you find compatible matches with similar education and professional background. Cool or not we aim to be the flag-bearer for the genuine candidate who is rational enough to realize that serendipity in your love-quest is overrated.