If you talk to your parents and ask their story, they will tell you that their match was made by aunts or family friends after exchanging photos and bio-data. Today, talk to a couple and we are sure more than 50% of them would have met online or through matrimony sites. With the increasing penetration of the Internet and now smart phones, anyone in any part of the world is contactable. There are so many social media sites that help people get to know each other even before meeting. In addition to it, dating apps give individuals ample choice in finding a suitable and like-minded partner. We got into conversation with the Founder’s of Marrily, a mobile app based that connects mutually interested people and helps them take the relationship to the next stage. The brainchild of 4 young entrepreneurs Sourabh Varma, Ajay Pandey, Sukamal Pegu and Harsh Vardhan, we bring to you their entrepreneurial story and more about their platform:
Taking the entrepreneurial leap: The Co-Founders share, “Last year around June we met a friend over coffee. By happenstance our discussion veered towards marriage as she was single and looking. We casually suggested if she had tried matrimony sites. She already had and was completely disillusioned with it. That got us thinking that she and millions of other professionally qualified singles really don’t have an option that helps them find a life partner without the usual posturing of ‘arranged marriage’. That discussion germinated the idea of Marrily, matrimony for single professionals.”
Why Powai as a location: “Powai has grown rapidly to become one of most upmarket neighbourhoods and in start-up circles now also known as the lake valley. To us, it also offers a great opportunity to reach out to the discerning and independent singles,” share the Co-Founders. They add, “We do events, like Marrily Socials, where singles can meet and interact in a fun ambience. Most importantly, we believe if we are able to help singles from Powai find their life partner, we must be on the right track.”
Changes in recent generations: The Co-Founders share, “I believe youngsters have more complicated lives when it comes to relationships. Most, before marriage, would have been in relationships, some casual some serious. And, by virtue of that, are more comfortable taking marriage decisions themselves as against relying on family. In short, the new generation is more independent in taking life decisions.”
Key offerings: Sharing more about the key services they provide which are different from the rest, the Co-Founders say, “We are a matrimony matchmaking platform for professional singles. Our matching algorithm is designed for them and gives adequate importance to factors that matter a lot to them such as a professional qualification, post-marriage career, relocation preferences, etc. It's no more a question of status, income and caste alone.” They add, “We also conduct Marrily Socials - fun events for select Singles - where they can interact with each other and take it forward if there is mutual interest. Going forward, we'll also facilitate one-on-one meet-ups so that they are able to meet, know each other better and decide. In short, we are building a platform taking into the sensibilities of professional singles and helping them choose their life partner.”
Pricing & marketing strategy: “We are focusing on building the right network of singles and will start charging users for matches in 3 months' time. Currently, the services are available for free. As far as marketing strategy goes, we focus mostly on digital channels with concentration on Mumbai,” say the Co-Founders.
What makes Marrily successful: Sharing more on some factors that make Marrily a success, the Co-Founders share, “User experience. People should be able to find relevant profiles and connect with people of their choice. This means that we need to provide impeccable service both via the Marrily mobile App as well as offline events and meet-ups.”
Customer Feedback: The Co-Founders share,“The response is quite good as we have seen a continuous increase in traffic without spending much on advertising. There is a strong word of mouth driving organic traffic to our App. Feedback and improvement is a continuous thing. More we speak to our members more ideas we get on how to serve better.”
Quitch Pitch: If you’re a parent of grown-up then it is quite unlikely that you haven’t come to terms with how independent youngsters are when it comes to critical life decisions like education, career and relationships. My 2 cents on that is, it is an irreversible trend. If you’re in late twenties or early thirties I would personally like to hear your thoughts. Would love to have you use Marrily and come for Socials that we organize from time to time.
Advice to young entrepreneurs: We think anyone who is an entrepreneur is young. Reason we are saying this is as entrepreneur priorities are different and things that typically nag in a corporate set-up cease to be important. Single most important reason to take up entrepreneurship should be to create a business, which means paying customer with profits with as little capital as possible. We are trying to do the same here and that would be our advice too.