How Shaadi.com Transformed The Way We Look At An Arrange Marriage Setup
- January 16, 2023
- Zainab Kantawala
- Posted in Business ModelsTechnology
The first name that comes to mind when thinking of marriage portals, is undoubtedly Shaadi.com. This brand completely took the world of marriage by storm and forced people to change their outlook toward arranged marriage setups.
Today, Shaadi.com witnesses about 12,000-15,000 sign-ups per day, with over 1.5 million active users in its subscriber base, making it the largest online matchmaking service globally.
So how did it all happen?
Fueled by the idea of making available authentic and hassle-free marriage proposals, powered by the Internet, Anupam Mittal started an endeavor- Sagaai.com in 1997, while in the US.
The mission was simple- “providing a superior matchmaking experience by expanding the opportunities available to meet potential life partners”.
Mittal’s main focus was on developing a superior web portal, ensuring a good stream of revenue. The year was 2001, and after putting all his money into the business, he quit his job at Micro Strategy and shifted base to India. He then spent a whopping 25,000 dollars on acquiring the name ‘Shaadi.com’, as he believed it to be a more saleable name in the country and Indians settled abroad.
At the basic level, which is right from setting up a profile, to accepting a request of interest, the process is free of charge. After this, in order to take the conversation further, one of the parties will pay up a fee to take the process forward, depending upon the service one chooses.
A profitable venture, considering the entire revenue goes to the business and no one else!
The brand didn’t need to raise any external funding till 2006, and till then had already built a good reputation for itself, and was doing good business too. Anupam then built a mobile app company- mauj.com, and between both companies raised US $20 million, from investors like Sequoia, Silicon Valley Bank, and Intel.
Recognising and Using opportunity
How did the brand become a sought-after one and how did it ace business?
First, the brand ensured customer authenticity and privacy with rigorous security checks.
Shaadi.com strategically partnered with brands like Vodafone, DishTV, and even the TV Channel- Star Plus, which gave them high visibility and access to customers, thereby facilitating customer engagement.
They shared success stories, matchmaking tips, and trends on their own portal, making them look authentic, and dependable, thereby attracting customers to try their services.
They also launched successful (read iconic) campaigns, that brought to the fore many pressing issues like women dropping out of the workforce post-marriage, the pressure of saying yes, and not giving married women equal credit at home.
The brand launches brilliant initiatives like the Facebook game ‘Angry Brides’ and the ‘Dowry Calculator’ to bring awareness to dowry abuses in India. This campaign received considerable media attention and was globally applauded.
The media campaign #FastForHer tried addressing gender inequality issues, and #WoEkBaat celebrated love with 6 million success stories.
The road ahead
After being in business for more than a decade and a half, the website is now planning its second effort at launching an IPO. Its first effort to go public was made in 2009.
The brand also plans to launch new products like Shaadi Live, which will enable virtual face-to-face meetings between people.