What men and women look for when browsing online matrimony sites

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The world of online matrimony is no different from our society, affirms Kaushik Tiwari, Head, Marketing at Bharat Matrimony. Men prefer good looks in their brides, whereas women want security and hence the search word ‘well-settled’. India’s skewed sex ratio also shows up in the number of profiles with a 49:51 for women and men, their data reveal.

What kind of trends do you notice on your portal, with respect to what men and women are looking for in each other? For example, do the fair, slim, educated criteria for women and the handsome, NRI, well-settled groom still apply?

The trends we see are fairly reflective of the current trends in society. We do see some patterns in terms of expectations from each gender. Men, for example, value appearances slightly more than women, and also place significant weightage on age and the location of the prospective bride. Brides themselves, on the other hand, prefer a ‘well-settled’ groom in terms of education, occupation, income and other stability factors.

What kind of professional backgrounds are in demand, when it comes to men and women seeking partners? Are men seeking professional or stay-at-home women as partners?

All the traditionally ‘well-settled’ occupation categories such as engineering jobs and managerial jobs are high in demand. With respect to women, the number of working women has steadily increased, and so has men’s preference for them.

Men are seeking professional women more and more, and the same occupation categories, engineering and management profiles, are the ones in demand. Also, there is a trend where entrepreneurs are more in demand – almost twice that of before.

Is the percentage of alliances higher within the same castes and communities or otherwise?

The proportion of alliances is definitely higher within same castes. In the Indian context, community still plays a vital role in forming alliances.

We also have a large number of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis using our religion specific services.

We are the most successful matchmaking service and have a Limca Book record for the most number of documented marriages online.

Dowry is a major problem in India. Do you encourage dowry-free matrimony? And what is your mechanism to check fake profiles?

While we condemn dowry completely, we can’t control what transpires between the two interested parties after they have found their match through us.

We have implemented several measures for the safety of our members.

When they create a profile, members are required to undergo mandatory mobile number verification.

They also have the option of uploading a copy of any specified government issued identity proof to add credibility to their profiles. We offer various privacy options to protect the details of the profile and member photos. Our ‘Safe Matrimony’ section guides members during the partner search.

Do you keep a demographic track of your clients? As in, how many are from smaller towns or villages? Do apps help in spreading your reach to smaller towns and villages maybe?

Yes, we keep track of the demographics of our clients, as we endeavour to customise our services based on the user expectations. The launch of the mobile app, especially the regional matrimony apps, have helped us spread our reach to smaller towns significantly.

Related reading: Best wedding stories – collection of romantic stories

Do you assess if it is the parents or elders who post profiles or is it the bride and the groom themselves? Does it make a difference? What kind of a competition do online dating sites pose?

Yes, we ask our customers who creates and handles the profile. A majority of our profiles are handled by the bride and the groom themselves. The rest are handled by parents/elders/relatives. We notice differences in customer behaviour and device usage amongst these two groups. We use all of this information to provide distinct, personalised service to our customers.

Dating sites cater to a completely different audience and pose no challenge to the robust online matchmaking category.

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