Bored of meeting the same people around you? Would you like to meet some new people and have great experiences? May be even build good relationships? Then StepOut! StepOut is an online community for young adults in India to meet new people, have fun experiences, and form real life relationships. True to its name, StepOut is about people stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new.
“As a young professional living in New York, I had friends signing up for some of the old school dating sites in the US (like the old school matrimony sites here in India) and they kept complaining about their experience on the site. They wanted to meet new people, expand their social circles, and try something new without the pressure that comes with meeting someone under the context of could I marry this person?” says Adam Sachs, Co-Founder, StepOut.
Adam, a New Yorker who studied History and Film founded Ignighter in 2008 with close college friends, Dan Osit and Kevin Owocki after his short stint in the Television industry. In January 2012, the company re-launched as StepOut. The company has people that span out of two offices both in Mumbai and New York City.
Interestingly, this company saw a great response from users in India, and made a strategic decision to primarily focus on the Indian market. The website targets single twenty-something professional man or woman living in one of the top 6 metros across India. There are exceptions of older or younger people with some living in smaller Indian towns who use this website as well. Currently the website has a few million users.
StepOut differentiates itself from its competitors by being a dynamic website, always growing and never static. Like many others today, this company also has a customer centric approach. As a company they aim to understand what their customers want, and what they use, and iterate on that to improve their website. With great emphasis on the metrics of usage patterns, all of their product decisions are driven by the users’ likes and preferences. To support this, StepOut has strong product, design, and development teams that work out of both their NewYork and India offices.
Being a social website focused on introducing new people to each other, safety and security are always a concern. Features have been introduced keeping this in mind. Users can speak to other users on the phone without revealing their phone numbers or chat with safety preferences.
Initially, India was forthcoming and brave enough to accept the idea of matrimonial websites. Now moving away from traditional marriages, in a new avatar to meet new people, websites are making their entry into a largely conservative space and closed area in India called online dating.
It is interesting to note the slow but steady rise in the number of dating sites in India with sites like MyMytra, OkCupid, Two Mangoes and now StepOut. This is clearly an indicator of a serious cultural shift in a country where arranged and same caste marriages are still the popular norm. While shift in culture has started, it might take years before this trend can actually seeps into the towns in the country.