In India, it is a common trend to have atleast a few members of the family who try to set up young singles with a distant relative or a friend’s ward or anybody else they deem eligible of the opposite sex. Remember the time at your cousin’s wedding that your aunt introduced you to her cousin’s neighbor sheepishly adding ‘he’s single too’, before leaving you’ll alone to talk?It would be right to say then that, traditionally friends and family members in India have played the proverbial cupid in finding the right matches. Extending the concept to the online world, two young graduates of the Arizona State University, Ruchika Abbi and Akash Saxena have launched Youpid.in, a matrimonial portal that is powered by friends and family who will connect/ collaborate and help you find a match, i.e. it’ll help YOU-be-the-cu-PID!
Youpid.in is a matrimonial social network that capitalizes on the changing online consumer behavior from seeking content on sites to seeking content from friends. Says Ruchika, “Users today look to their social networks to get recommendations for everything, be it a book or a phone to a TV or insurance. Why jump blindly into something as important as matrimony? We are an online service that can be used by people who want to get married and their friends and family too, to help them find the perfect match. After all, the best way to really know a person is through their friends!”Given the spate of existing matrimonial sites, some with large databases what would make a user come to Youpid.in?
The founders would like to have us believe that Youpid is a ‘smarter matrimonial network’ than all others as its very foundation was laid after experiencing obvious pain points on the existing matrimonial sites and wanting to overcome them. “We noticed that traditional sites are becoming unsafe because of the anonymity that inherently exists in classifieds. Furthermore, the intent of people on these sites is suspect and they are being used for dating rather than for matrimony. These problems were pointed out not just by direct users but also their family members who faced inconvenience on the sites they were registered on.”
Some different features of Youpid.in are:
Quality singles: Prospective singles on Youpid are available to you through your friends and their friends, increasing the chances of finding a match more tuned to you. Rather than thousands of profiles that you have to filter through.
Trusted singles: All singles will be known to you through a chain of friends, their friends and their extended network. This removes the anonymity factor and helps singles determine the authenticity of the prospective singles.
Community Conscience: Friends and family who join to help can add value as part of the extended community by ensuring intent and bridging the gap that exists between a Single’s online persona (profile) and how they may be in reality.
Niche: Youpid.in is focused solely on matrimony. A dedicated social network for matrimony takes the guesswork out of approaching Singles you may see through your network.
No Friendship requests: By choosing to focus on matrimony, we are providing a safe forum for people interested in matrimony and weeding out frivolous entities.
Promising indeed and from what the founders tell us, there is more to look forward to. “We have a well-defined marketing roadmap with set goals that we will execute in time. For now, we’re using social-media marketing and traditional marketing to reach out to our target group and spread word,” apprises Ruchika.
That apart, the entrepreneur duo both of who possess a Master’s degree in Computer Science, have also consciously involved themselves with the startup ecosystem in India, attending startup events and meeting fellow entrepreneurs to stay plugged into the innovation process. A self-funded startup, Youpid.in has already started drawing in interest and has seen registrations from users as well as recognition through reviews by certain quarters of the media in Bangalore and Chennai. Their next goal is to now make Youpid.in the ‘go to’ matrimony portal and introduce to the market, ‘features that give social context and a safe and comfortable space for matrimony’.
The team doesn’t seem to be worried about scaling up even with just one full time employee aboard. Indeed their challenges seem to be on another front altogether. Extrapolates Akash, “The biggest challenge has been going from thinking of marketable ideas to picking one and saying ‘let’s do it’. Everything else just fell into place. There are daily challenges that we face as a startup but none more than that one decision. It is undoubtedly the belief in our product and the motivation to bring it to more and more users that keeps us going.”
Sentiments that every entrepreneur would do well to adopt. In the case of Ruchika, even more inspiring given her relatively more cushy background as part of the software scene of Silicon Valley for close to seven years. Yet the nonchalant lady has only this to say, “There existed a highly creative and charged up startup atmosphere at Silicon Valley. I had ideated concepts/products but never really took the plunge. On moving back to India, I took a sabbatical for some time and on reaching the end of it, realized that the desire to work on my own had became stronger. That was when I chose to realize my long time dream of creating something of my own and bringing it to market.”
The casual tone does not defy the effort that the decision must have taken and yet speaking to her, one knows that it was a judgement that arose from confidence and the desire to work for oneself. Not surprising then, that the wisdom that the two partners pass on to others still contemplating entrepreneurship is “Just go for it. Don’t wait for the perfect time, start when you want to. Be frugal, start small, but start and things will soon fall into place.”
Youpid.in takes the process online and helps YOU-be-the-cuPID!