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Business services 2009-10-30

Matchmaking profits

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

Matrimonial web portals are gaining popularity. Easy to access and convenient to use, matchmaking across the globe is just a mouse click away. In an interview with Franchise India Holdings Pvt. Ltd, Gaurav Rakshit, Business Head, Shaadi.com shares the success of Shaadi.com.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): What inspired Shaadi.com to take the franchise route?

Gaurav Rakshit (GR): Matchmaking is a sensitive subject and trustworthiness is very critical for the success of this business. Shaadi.com Centre has pioneered the concept of using proprietary technology to revolutionise the traditional method of matchmaking.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in Shaadi.com?

GR: Over the last 4 years, Shaadi.com Centre has pioneered in retail matchmaking services in India and has always been a step ahead in innovation in the matrimonial industry in terms of exceptional services offered. Over the last year, Shaadi.com has introduced two novel concepts for its offline members. They are: 

  • Chai meetings: Short meetings are conducted for prospective brides and grooms and their respective families usually from the same community.
  • Personalised matchmaking: A warm and friendly offering dedicated to making your search faster and simpler for the perfect match. The Shaadi.com Centre advisor acts as a mediator and represents the members’ of family to the prospective party.

RK: What is the eligibility criterion for taking the franchisee of your company?

GR: To become a Shaadi.com Centre franchisee, one requires 400 to 800 sq. ft of semi commercial space and an investment of Rs 7 to Rs 12 lakh. The exact space and investment depends on the city and location.

RK: What support do you provide to your franchisees?

GR: Shaadi.com Centres provides its franchisees the know-how, planning and impart training to run the business efficiently.

RK: What is the break-even period for ‘Shaadi.com’ franchise?

GR: The break-even is not same for all franchisees. While some franchisees take three months, there are some that may take a year.

RK: How many franchisees do you have and in which all cities?

GR: Currently we have about 100 Shaadi.com Centres in India. Out of these 40-45 per cent centres are owned by us and 55-60 per cent centres are run by the franchisees. We recently took the offline model to a global scale with opening a centre in Canada.

RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?

GR: Shaadi.com Centre – as a retail enterprise has worked wonderfully in India. As mentioned earlier, our plan is to now expand this model on a global scale. We have already opened a centre in Canada and now plan on entering the U.S. and U.K. market as well.

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