In the past recent years, market trends have changed tremendously. Today, people prefer more lavish and comfortable lifestyles and luxuries play a crucial role. This has given rise to many new industries and the older formats have taken new shapes. Another such rapidly growing industry is the matrimonial industry. Everyone -- from those in entertainment to décor (as wedding planners); beauty clinics, cosmetic giants, travel, and tourism; even matrimonial web sites and bureaus -- are making money out of marriage.
The Indian wedding market is currently estimated at Rs 70,000 crore. The matrimonial services saw a growth rate of 37% in India last year. This growth is not only because of the high society weddings, but even the middle class families are ready to spend on good services. The minimum budget spend on a wedding varies from Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) for medium size weddings to the upper middle class segment which go beyond Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million). Online matchmaking is on the verge of a boom in the country, with over four million Indians subscribing to matrimonial search on the Internet, according to a survey by Internet. While scores of browsers have found their life partners through the World-Wide-Web, it has also accounted for several cases of fraud and mismatch. Our parent company, Hindustan Media, started in 1924 and is an established brand in North India. On financial front, HT Media has posted a net profit of Rs.27.3 crore for FY05 to total income of Rs.633.6 crore. Currently, Hindustan Times is only in the matrimonial industry through newspaper matrimonial advertisements and has not taken up the matrimonial bureau/website services on a larger scale. Our secondary survey, conducted by research on the Internet, gave an overview of the increasing spending power even in the middle and upper middle-income groups and the major entrants in matrimonial bureau services. Our primary survey began with visits to various matrimonial bureaus. Mr. Ummang Sharma Zonal Head (North) of Shaadi Point gave us an overview of current market trends and figures in this industry. He further explained and justified the way Shaadi Point conducts business through their franchise model. Similarly, we interviewed Mr. Swarup Das, Marketing Head, Sycorian and Mr. Regain Lyngdoh of TimesMatri. They explained the different aspects of functioning of their respective companies and the products and packages offered by them. Mr. Swarup also told us how consumers perceive the online match making as unreliable as it has no/low cost registration and people try to get into friendships and dating rather than marrying. This also matched our secondary data of fraud cases through such matrimonial websites. We observed that all online models have similar prices whereas reputed and trustworthy offline models have varying prices depending on the type of services provided by them. The highest prices were offered by Sycorian, which targeted the upper income group. We then conducted a survey on people of the marriageable age or having family members of that age. (Sample Size=100) through a questionnaire, aimed to confirm and support the “unreliability” factor in case of Internet match making. We also found that there was a need gap when it came to a trustworthy marriage bureau with quality services and packages with nominal prices. People also look forward to personalized services when it comes to a marriage bureau. We have come up with our marriage bureau Shubham, an SBU of a reputed publication house, Hindustan Media. Shubham has targeted the market on the basis of Demographics, Geographics and Psychographics. This way it’s catering to people who fall in the middle and the upper middle-income group, staying in all parts of Delhi only and who looked forward for trust worthier, reliable and value for money services. Though there are unorganized marriage bureaus and other low priced options in this regard, but they do not offer...
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