"Seventy percent of our profiles are MBAs," said Akhilesh Sharma, one of ibluebottle.com's founders, adding that 95 percent of users are the profile holders themselves, not parents looking to find a match for their children.
Arranged marriages fading
As the joint family system where many generations live in the same home fades and migration to cities increases, the extended family network that typically takes the responsibility of arranging marriages is fast dying out.
"There is a new kind of brokerage. The middle man has changed; it's no longer the neighbor or the aunt. The online platform has become a more efficient way of matchmaking given the nature of migration and mobility," said sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.
Now the individual, not the family, drives the selection process, says Rakshit of shaadi.com whose website together with several others like bharatmatrimony.com and Jeevansathi.com ('life partner' in Hindi), which are all popular brands on television, is attracting the younger lot with its professional and high-tech approach to matchmaking.
Most matrimonial sites use matchmaking algorithms, an identification verification program, social screening and KYC (know your client) norms. Some sites like ibluebottle.com suggest suitable partners based on a personality test.
Leap of faith
Despite the due diligence done by these websites, deciding to marry someone is ultimately a leap of faith, says a Delhi resident who recently found a match for her U.S. Ivy college educated daughter online.
"Within two months of putting up our daughter's profile we found the right match," the mother-in-law to be said, some of whose friends have not been so lucky.
Stories about fake profiles, where candidates were dishonest about their educational qualifications or hid relevant personal facts, are not uncommon.
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Despite the risks, people are flocking to these websites. Shaadi.com, for instance, gets 15,000 new subscribers daily. An estimated 50 million people register on matrimonial sites annually. Convenience and the cost factor are partially why they're popular, argue experts.
While these sites charge between $50 and $80 (rupees 3,000 and 5,000) for a three-month subscription, which can go up to $300 if you want a relationship advisor, an offline match maker, who gives you a more personalized service, could charge you a registration fee of $400 (rupees 25,000) and another $1,200 once you fix the alliance.
As the year-end Indian wedding season gets into full swing, marriages are being made less in heaven and more online.
As Rakshit says, "Everybody knows somebody married on shaadi.com."