BharatMatrimony – From Scratch to Success: Walk the journey

It’s great to see BharatMatrimony sharing it’s success story track with the entire world: right from the day when a young programmer started the community site to securing a place in Limca book of world records!

Here are a few excerpts from BharatMatrimony’s success story:

  • 1997 – A young programmer named Murugavel Janakiraman starts a community portal, through his sole initiative, for Indians living and working abroad.
  • 1998 – The matrimony section originally consisted of two pages: one for the Bride and one for the Groom, and was expanded further to provide search features. It soon became the most popular, received excellent response and is now gaining momentum.
  • 1999 – BharatMatrimony opens a small office (300 square feet) in Chennai.
  • 2000 – BharatMatrimony.com initiates ten regional websites.
  • 2001 – BharatMatrimony opens offices across India in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, ties up with Rediff, Sify and MSN as a Matrimony channel.
  • 2002 – BharatMatrimony pioneers the Matrimony Meet concept, whereby prospective brides and grooms and their families can meet face to face.
  • 2003 – Launch of VeriProfile (Patent Pending) – a verification service to ensure genuine and reliable profiles.
  • 2005 – Expansions across different segments : Clickjobs, IndiaProperty,
  • 2006 – Secures a place in Limca book of Records (for the highest number of documented marriages online), launches IndiaAutomobile and IndiaList.
  • 2007 – Kicks ass, received PC World’s Best Sites of 2007, launches voice matrimony (in association with Airtel), Loanwala and matrimonydiary are launched.

Read the entire success story here.
Incidentally, Murugavel Janakiraman met his life partner thru’ BharatMatrimony (now who said ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’? :)).

What do you think is the success mantra of BharatMatrimony?
In my opinion:

  • They saw the opportunity much before anybody else did.
  • Thanks to the earlier IT boom, lots of Indian IT professionals (from middle class especially) moved to US, they probably wanted to have a say in their marriage (even though it’s arranged), and BharatMatrimony just served as the right platform for this – and that also means the timing was perfect.
  • It’s not at all an exaggeration to say that they created a niche market of online matrimony service.
  • I have always believed that social network/communities in India need to have an offline presence. BharatMatrimony too invested in offline channels (they organized Matrimony Mumbai meet as well as meets for physically challenged people) and created a community/network effect.
  • Focus – they got their first product right, and moved to other ventures only after 7 years of start. Compare this with a few startups that keep delivering half-baked WTF products every now and then.

What are the points that I have missed?

Do you see new age startups putting up enough effort, or do you think they are just scratching the surface and dreaming a million $ buyout?

Insights or Mindless products? What’s your take? Please share your comments.

Related: Social Neworking in India – where is the missing link?

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