Shaadi.com

Shaadi.com Founder Anupam Mittal Steps Down

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Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO of Shaadi.com, has stepped down from his role as CEO of the company. According to reports, he will now focus on Shaadi's corporate developments, new businesses, and international expansions. Gourav Rakshit, former chief operating officer, will take over Mittal's role as CEO of Shaadi.com.

“Day to day responsibilities will now move to Gourav, while I still continue to guide the company with a focus on corporate development and acquisitions,” said Mittal.

Rakshit, who has already been looking after day to day operations of the venture, will take on full responsibility for Shaadi.com. He is an MBA alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad who has held various positions at Shaadi since October 2007. Previously, he worked at Infosys, Planetasia, and Nestle.

The change comes after a few major moves in Mittal's world. His People Group, which includes app store Mobango and mobile media firm Mauj, merged its property listing portal Makaan with online property broker Proptiger for an undisclosed sum. Makaan continues to operate as an independent entity following the deal.

In January this year, People Group acquired a 25% stake in dating app Thrill, which merged with People Group's dating website Fropper.com.

People Group hopes its next big move will be a new round of funding for Shaadi. The company is looking for at least $100 million to finance its expansion plans.

In preparation, Shaadi has hired Aditya Save, former head of Marico's global centre of excellence for digital and media, to replace Abhishek Maloo as chief marketing officer. Maloo will join Mittal in the corporate development team.

Finally, Shaadi has brought on Ketan Doshi as chief technology officer. Doshi is an IIT-Bombay and Stanford graduate, as well as the former director of product development at BMC Software. Both Save and Doshi will report to Rakshit.

Mittal started Shaadi.com in 1996 before forming People Group to look at other opportunities in the technology arena. He is an active angel investor who has contributed to over 60 startups. According to reports, Shaadi has made over 3.2 million matches as of 2013.

Shaadi.com Turns 15

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Shaadi.com is one of the older dating services having launched in 1996. Shaadi is an Indian Matrimonial service and last month they celebrated their 15 year anniversary. They estimate that their service has helped match over 2 million people, whom have then married.

Over the 15 years Shaadi.com has expanded beyond the internet. They now offer extended services through mobile apps, TV and through live person on person meetings at over 100 Shaadi Centres found in 87 Indian cities.

For more on this story you can read the press release and for more information on the dating service please read our review of Shaadi.

Shaadi.com is on Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies

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Shaadi.com made Fast Company's "The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies" list. The online matrimonial service came in at number 39 and is the only dating site to make the list. Other companies on the list they beat include GE, Samsung and Cisco.

The write-up indicates that the goal of the site being marriage for its members, along with their résumé like profiles, and the fact that they plan to go mobile in 2011 as well as opening retail sites for marriage counselling as the reasons it made the list.

For more on this story you can read number 39 on the list. To find out more about this matrimonial service you can read our Shaadi.com review.

Shaadi.com a Popular Choice for South Asian Parents

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The custom of arranged marriage is very popular in India but in countries like the United States and Canada it is not popular. In North America when a match could not be found locally, families from India and other Asian countries sometimes resorted to using newspaper classified sections to find a potential suitor for one of their children. This practice has now changed thanks to online dating. Dating sites like Shaadi.com have matched more than a million South Asian couples and now parents are logging on to find potential matches for their children. Many parents find "religion, mother tongue, residency status, education, caste or class, astrological sign and diet" important attributes in a mate for their child. Shaadi.com does keep track of this information within member profiles which makes it easy for parents to find matches. Roughly 20 percent of profiles on Shaadi were created by parents looking for a partner for one or more of their children. The average age of a profile is in the range of 26 to 35.

In Canada Shaadi.com has become so popular that they have opened up their first North American center in Mississauga Ontario in March of this year (close to Toronto). The greater Toronto area is home to more than 700,000 South Asian Canadians making it ideal for a matchmaking center. Shaadi also has started to promote their new center not only online, but off as well through billboards and other physical media to better reach their target audience.

To find out more details about this dating site, check out our review of Shaadi.com.

"Shaadi" in Hindi Means Marriage

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It seems that the dating site Shaadi.com is becoming fairly popular with British Asian singles. The Guardian in the UK wrote an article about the dating site and included several success stories and a few not so successful ones. No dating site is perfect and when I see a article written which includes information about what the site may be lacking or has problems with I tend to give it more weight than a story that is all positive.

Shaadi.com now claims 15 million people have signed up for their service since the website launched in 1997. Currently they have 5 million members using the site at any given time which generates about 300 million page views every month and 6,000 new profiles a day. This dating site:

is tailored to the typical criteria of traditional matchmakers, with questions about family values (traditional, moderate or liberal), profession and even complexion.

Shaadi's search engine allows members to be incredibly detailed about the type of person they wish to find or be matched with.

To find out more about this India dating and matrimonial website, read our review of Shaadi.com.

Shaadi.com Founder & CEO Interview

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An interview with Anupam G. Mittal, CEO Of Shaadi.com is available over at Online Personals Watch (OPW). In the article Mittal discusses how he founded the website back in 1997 when he returned to India for a few months and by chance met up with a traditional matchmaker. In India, traditional matchmakers not only foster a relationship between people looking for a partner but, with their families as well. Family is considered very important in India. When Mittal talked with the matchmaker, he further learned that she had about 50 or 60 people in her network. It was easy for him to see that moving part of the matchmaking process onto the internet would increase the matchmaking pool by thousands.

In the interview Mittal also discusses:

  • How Shaadi works from a user's perspective. There are about 75 Shaadi centers across India and one in Canada now. In the United States singles must rely on just the website.
  • The prices and services offered by Shaadi and how they differ depending on what country you live in.
  • How the economy and Facebook has affected the dating business in India.
  • Where Mittal would like to see Shaadi by the end of 2010.

For the full interview, visit OPW and for further information on the top matrimonial service in India, read our review of Shaadi.com.