Society

In the business of ‘love’

Peter Luptak, Allyson Pritchett, Pratik Agarwal and Yu Kakitsubo

Peter Luptak, Allyson Pritchett, Pratik Agarwal and Yu Kakitsubo   | Photo Credit: arranged

The young founders of EasyBiodata.com share their plans to professionalise the search for a spouse in India.

Marriages in India are a noisy affair, starting from the process of finding a suitable partner. Well-wishers — which include a long list of uncles, aunts, distant relatives, neighbours, family friends and colleagues — through Matrimonial websites and newspaper ads, get in on the search, aided, often resulting in a hit or miss game of numbers which can be daunting and disheartening. Harvard Business School student Pratik Agarwal, was talking about his vain attempts to find a bride in India with a few fellow students when a light bulb came on in their minds and the idea to start easyBiodata.com was born. “He talked about how there were very few tools or applications to help navigate the search process in India and that everything about the process was highly manual and time consuming while most online services created public profiles which raised privacy concerns,” says co-founder Yu, who started the website with co-founders Allyson Pritchett, Peter Luptak and Pratik Agarwal. For the foursome, it was also a way to be part of India’s million dollar marriage industry.

This was surprising to the rest of the group — here he was, ready to make one of the most important of life choices and there were “no technology solutions or applications to help him.” With this in mind, the team decided to create a tool that would not only help their friend but every other person going through the marital search process and easyBiodata was born. The site allows users to log in and create a tastefully designed bio data that includes details about themselves and their families including lineage and professional qualifications of immediate family on both parents’ side.. This biodata can then be shared with family and friends via email or social network or printed and given out manually, with the hope of reducing time and effort spent in finding out the already included details.

The team, of which only one has first hand experience with the tradition of arranged marriage, did a considerable amount of research before delving into the Indian marriage market. “We went through hundreds of online bio data creation templates and formats as well as bio data created by marriage counselors for individuals in their communities,” they inform. “We researched cutting edge design tools and principles, color schemes, image processing as well as the key fields for inclusion on the bio data.” The resultant design is one of the factors that they believe sets them apart from the numerous matrimonial sites available to the Indian market.

After launching in April 2013, the website has received a positive response, attracting over 1000 new visitors daily, according to Yu who adds that this number has only been growing. Although, the site was originally designed for parents, siblings and relatives who were making biodata for singles, the creators were surprised to find that half their users are singles themselves. “As marriage evolves in India, singles are increasingly becoming involved in the process. We were excited to see that young singles are able to become more involved in the process through easyBiodata,” he points out.

The website has been called ‘the LinkedIn for love’ but as of now only contains features that help people create biodatas and rely on email and social networks for sharing of same. The team, however, has plans of taking things forward to make the site more relevant to the family and community aspect of Indian marriages. “With the manual nature of the marital search process today, much of how special this time could be, gets lost in the frustration of managing hundreds of emails (and calls) between bua, chacha, and all the extended family and friends that become involved.” says Yu. “This platform would allow people to see common connections between themselves and a potential match or conduct background checks on candidates.”

This sounds much like any other matrimonial site but the key word here is privacy. “For many singles, biodata contains very personal and intimate information about them and their families. With other sites, this information would be available to anyone who views your profile and you cannot control who views your profile,” explains Yu. “With easyBiodata, this information is only available to those whom you share it with either with your own private link or with a pdf which you can email or print off to share with others.”

Naturally, condensing everything about a person into a ‘biodata’ and looking for an ideal ‘candidate’ strips the process of any remaining romance but the founders of easyBiodata say that their intent was not to take a business like approach to marriage but to to take business tools, like technology and applications, and use them to help people in their lives beyond the office.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:17:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/in-the-business-of-love/article6295839.ece

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