Fancy online dating may sound good but it is not everyone’s cup of tea to keep contacting random people on the internet. Mostly information and pictures shared aren’t necessarily correct which make the online dating space very doubtful. For people who have less time and are more selective, personalized matchmaking works better. Matchme, a personalized matchmaking service, based in New Delhi, is one such service which filters and curates matches for all its clients and makes sure they only meet suitable people. Started by two girls, Mishi and Tania, being in their 30s, they connect to everyone in the age group from 20s to their 40s.
Understanding their personalities, MatchMe aims to make selective introductions. Most of the matches done by them have been only in the first few introductions. That is the advantage of personalized matchmaking . You do not keep meeting endless number of people to look out for the right one to settle down with. Personalized matchmakers make you meet people only if they feel they could connect with. This approach works well for the ones who have less time but enough money to shell out the fee for this search-based process.
Personalized matchmaking maybe a traditional business which most parents resorted to when there were no online portals, MatchMe has redefined the approach. In addition to meeting the anxious parents, they interact with all girls and boys who are looking out, asking them personal questions which the parents may not be able to answer. This way the whole approach becomes comfortable, transparent and more effective. Another advantage of using a personalized matchmaking service could be confidentiality. It is not uncommon to come across your neighbour or someone you went to school with while browsing through matrimonial websites. To make sure that your personal information and your intent to get married is not on display for the world to see, and to narrow down your search, personalized matchmakers like MatchMe, personally put you in touch with those with whom you are most likely to hit it off with. If one is well established, reached a certain age, online dating may just seem a very superficial approach as credibility of the profiles available on matrimonial websites is one of the biggest concerns for anyone who finds them interesting and wants to send them a message. To address this concern, personalized matchmakers make sure they meet the people before they set up a meeting, going the extra mile to ensure that no woman claiming to be tall and slim turns out to be the other way. Personalized matchmakers work like friends with their clients, also helping them overcome the biggest challenge of the awkwardness and friction people feel about coming to meet someone they don’t know.
Perhaps with the influx of new websites to cater to the matrimonial needs of the urban Indian, the menace of the internet that is creeping in our lives along with the advantages, we’ll see a shift in the way matchmaking is done for the well educated and well established lot, as they want to turn away from the online sites to more meaningful personal introductions that saves not only their time but also maintains their privacy.
About the founders
Mishi Sood (Co founder)
A boarding school educated from Sacred Heart Dalhousie and graduate from Lady Shri Ram College Delhi with a Masters degree in Finance from Amity Business School, is a co-founder of this company. She worked in a Business Consultancy firm for two years before joining her family business of real estate. She belongs to an affluent and well connected family of Punjab and Delhi and eventually moved onto something she enjoys the most. MatchMe was created out of sheer passion and inclination towards knowing and meeting people from various backgrounds. After playing cupid for few of her friends and then subsequently being approached by people to find them a life partner, she realized this need had to be addressed in a more organized way. Henceforth, MatchMe – an exclusive and extremely personalized service to help you find a partner for lifetime.
Tania Sondhi, (Co founder)
A Delhi University Amity Business School MBA graduate in Marketing, Tania is the co-founder of MatchMe. She has several years of high level experience in the recruiting and HR industry. She has conducted executive searches for several top companies in India and the Middle East. Understanding the nuances of people’s needs and actualizing them is her core strength. After honing her skills in successfully recruiting the right talent for companies both in India as well as internationally, she has decided to use her impeccable strengths to bringing the right people together for relationships for life.
Tania belongs to a renowned family from Jalandhar and is married into a well-established family in Delhi. Her great family lineage and education give her a uniquely blended perspective of traditional and modern values. Married for 13 years to the love of her life, Tania wholeheartedly believes in the adage “a great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together, it is when the imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences”. We are publishing an interview with her:
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: MatchMe is deeply connected to compatibility, understanding, love and respect. Our Founders, Tania and Mishi bring with them a fresh approach to traditional matchmaking. MatchMe was created out of sheer passion and inclination towards knowing and meeting people from various backgrounds. Mishi, after playing cupid for few of her friends and then subsequently being approached by people to find them a life partner, realized this need had to be addressed in a more organized way. Tania, through her personal experiences, realizes how meaningful and joyful life can be if you spend it with the ‘right’ person. Hence the significance of connecting with the ‘one’ and the commitment of MatchMe towards making this happen.The modern reality is that we are constantly bombarded with information and choices. MatchMe seeks to curate that information and those choices to help you narrow your search for your life partner. We use our in-depth, personalized approach to understanding your priorities and then use that information to match you with the right one. With an open mind, they are committed to fill the gap that exists in this area.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Matchme has been derived on sheer passion & interest to connect like-minded people for marriage. Our USP is that we two are personally involved in meeting and interacting with all our clients, understanding their backgrounds, personalities & interests & henceforth curate matches. We believe in putting the right kind of effort & making our clients meet only when it is worth their time and interest. Today’s youth shy away from this process because they feel their profiles will be all over the place. For this reason, we partner with them like friends to make introductions. We maintain a discreet approach maintaining client privacy and make the process extremely comfortable for our clients. Our real success lies in the fact that most of the matches we’ve done so far have been first introductions.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: We believed a lot of people out there were looking out for introductions for marriage but were not comfortable with the services available in the market in this space. The bureaus and agencies’ ways of working were not what they were looking for. They were mainly relying on introductions through family and friends which over time keep shrinking. When we started we met so many like minded people who came forward to sign up with us for their search as we try to fill this gap. Working as friends and trusted partners to understand them them introduce them to like minded people . Our clientele is well educated, liberal minded and progressive thinking people who value compatibility in a marriage the most . These are the set of people we tried to target and that’s actually how it unfolded for us. We have a network of well educated, well established Indians all across the globe now !
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: Not having a concrete marketing strategy in place right at the start definitely was a drawback, we relied on personal references and wanted to work only through word of mouth. There have been few more mistakes initially but we kept improvising on our work and learning has been a continuous process.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Our pricing is premium. We handle our clients personally, have not built a team as we feel our USP is that we both personally curate matches for our clients. Secondly we target well educated and well established people , a premium fee helps us build a network of like minded and similar background people.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans: We don’t have any investor
Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: We connect to many singles working overseas looking out to settle down. They may have limited Indians they can connect to where they live. Many have apprehensions about how a long distance relationship could work out for them. When we connected this guy from Delhi, constantly on the move for work , to a girl from Singapore , we were wondering if it could work out . But it was just one phone conversation that led to another and two months later we heard they were getting married!!! So I guess we just have to believe and give it a try!
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
Ans: Over 500 clients all around the world. Over 800 introductions.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We are developing an APP ‘ MatchMe Professional’ a matchmaking portal for professionals looking for professionally qualified partners. After working in this space for 4 years, talking to singles everyday we are understanding the existing gaps and are working on building a good blend of dating sites and existing matrimonial sites with ‘MatchMe Professional’ network!
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: What differentiates MatchMe is the approach the founders bring in in the search process. The USP of our service is Mishi and Tania being personally involved with their clients. Hence taking anyone as our competition will be hard to specify as each person is unique and in our work our job is building relationships. We only take on clients who we can connect with in the first place.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: To rapidly expand our network and reach out to as many singles across the globe . We are specifically targeting opening our office in Bangalore, Singapore and Dubai in the next few months months.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: We converted our passion into the profession. We just want to say that one must believe in their idea, work passionately towards it, be patient and it will definitely bring you the desired results.
Thanks Tania. All the best!