Technology has solved a knotty problem. People can witness a marriage taking place live anywhere in the world through the website See My Marriage
The proverbial big fat Indian wedding is no more just an open secret for those who attend it. You can now watch it live wherever you are, with www.seemymarriage.com.
Started by software engineers, See My Marriage is a live streaming website that began almost three years ago. It now has a team of 15, operating out of its head office. “Marriages are very important in India and we see that a lot of people aren't able to make it to the event because they live in another country or there is some appointment that can't be postponed. We realised that streaming the marriage online from a domestic setup would solve their problem. Therefore, in 2009, I started it along with a friend, Gopi K, who helped with the technical aspect of it,” says Pratush Charan.
See My Marriage's first wedding took a few months. “We had no orders for the first six months, after which we had an average of one or two every month. It was only in 2010, around the marriage season that we made a lot of business. By June, we were had a target of 100 marriages a month. In January 2011, we managed to break even and have been doing well since. Basically, we talk to banquet hall managers and hotels and once credibility has been established, we broadcast in their space. In the last financial year alone, we covered about 900 marriages. The wedding months differ in each part of the country but we get most of our orders from the South,” he adds.
The website promotes itself via satisfied customers and most of their orders have been through word-of-mouth. “If a customer is happy, he tells someone else, who tells ten other people. This is how we get our orders. This is especially true of NRIs who witness a wedding. There are people of all cultures who watch and recommend us to their families. This way, we telecast all over the country,” Pratush says.
See My Marriage also offers customised services such as voice-overs and audio messages. “Our customers find us reliable and have even begun to customise their videos. While some opt for voice-over kind of messages; we offer an option to record audio wishes. By using this, those who are watching the video from other places can record their wishes. At the end of the wedding, we give a copy of the video, along with the wishes, to the couple. Many couples integrate the video on their websites (since it has now become a trend for couples to host a wedding website). People can watch the video directly from there. Also, we understand that live streaming is not a new idea but our infrastructure allows us to have networks even when the Internet bandwidth is infrequent or low. We compress the videos and send the feed so that the viewers have uninterrupted streaming,” he says.
With offices in seven cities, the website, which is based out of Vishakapatnam, reaches out to every nook and corner of the country. “We have offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Madurai, Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi but not all our orders come from cities. By having offices in prime areas, we are able to reach any town or village that needs our service. It was a risk to quit my job and do this but I wasn't afraid and saw it as an opportunity. That's how See My Marriage grew,” Pratush adds.