Karela Fry

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Caravan has a long story about dating sites hitting India. Here is the beginning of one story:

In 2007, Adam Sachs—a recent college grad working at a television channel in New York City—was desperate to find a natural way to meet new girls in the city, but had drawn a blank. Away from college’s reserve of friends and friends of friends, Sachs was beginning to discover just how limited the possibilities were: blind dates felt like job interviews; approaching girls at bars was often awkward; and dating websites—although now a fairly common way to find romance in the US—seemed desperate. Night after night he hung out with the same group of friends, all of whom seemed to have the same problem.

By early 2008, Sachs was fed up. “In real life, we don’t create our own blind dates,” he reasoned—logic that led him and Daniel Osit, a college friend who worked in marketing, to build something that would lift them out of the single life with the help of as many hands as they could hold. The online dating site they dreamt up was one through which groups of friends could connect with other groups to organise dates. Consolidating the power of friends through an online interface seemed, after all, a profitable enterprise in the age of Facebook.

In August 2008, together with their common friend Kevin Owocki, the three launched Ignighter, and soon after went straight to Facebook for help. By November, the Ignighter app was up and running on the social networking behemoth. By the end of the year, the group dating website had 50,000 registered users in the US. But in a market with more than 1,500 dating sites generating a total of $2.1 billion in profits each year, their accomplishment wasn’t quite a revolution.

One day in April 2009, while checking the site’s latest stats, the founders noticed unexpected web traffic from several countries in Asia. By June, it was obvious that India was outpacing the rest; the website was gaining hundreds of users a day, both male and female, from all over this distant country.

At first, the discovery was bewildering—how did word get out, and why was it catching on so quickly in India? But like with any mystery, explanations were aplenty. “The universal story that we’ve heard is that people in our target demographic, the twentysomethings in India, are growing up in a different India than their parents,” Sachs said in an interview to Inc, a US-based magazine about entrepreneurs.

Just the thing to read on a lazy weekend.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

March 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Posted in India, people

Tagged with ,

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