Startups and those working in them may have achieved a mark of distinction in an acutely class-conscious society — the evidence is surging demand on matrimony websites. It’s not just investors, even prospective suitors are queuing up for entrepreneurs and those in the startup industry. That’s a U-turn from few years ago when increased risk appetite did not bode well for marital prospects.
Such sites have seen a 50-100% jump in demand for matches from those in the industry within a year. Matrimony.com, saw a 50% increase in demand for grooms who are entrepreneurs or work in startups in the January-March period from the year earlier. Those looking for such partners are teachers or work the software industry.
There’s even been a 42% increase in demand for brides working in startups from grooms across most professions. The company has 50 lakh people searching for matches registered on its site. Matrimony-.com has sites like BharatMatrimony. com, PopularMatrimony-.com, CommunityMatrimony.com andAssistedMatrimony.com in its network.
“These young entrepreneurs have gained rock star status and many want a partner just like them. Stories of the spurt in successful ventures have made it socially acceptable to have a groom/bride who is an entrepreneur or works for a startup,” said Gourav Rakshit, CEO of Shaadi.com. The company has seen demand double for matches with those at startups in the last two years.
Rakshit, however, added that the demand is mostly from the big cities and clients in tier II and III towns still prefer those employed in traditional sectors such as medicine and engineering.
Shephali S, 26, works for a tech startup in Mumbai and is looking for Maharastrians who are entrepreneurs or work for start-ups. She believes similar work interests, the ability to take risk and prospects for career advancement make for an interesting partner. Several prospective grooms have pitched themselves as likely matches in response to her listing. ”We are paid well and employees in this young industry have an energy about them that I want in my partner,” she said.
2014 saw 800 new companies start up in India, taking the total number to 3,100. IIT and IIM graduates are either starting their own ventures or being hired by such ventures. Their salaries are at par with those offered by traditional recruiters and this, coupled with hefty stock options and bonuses, gives the sector a high coolness quotient. Banks too have started funding such businesses and this comforts many a parent whose child wants to marry an entrepreneur.
“This is not surprising at all. Every paper, news channel, radio has dedicated sections on entrepreneurs and parents, who are often the real decision makers, cannot ignore this,” said Vivek Prabhakar, founder and CEO of lifestyle based product firm Chumbak Designs. “Also, there has been no bubble in the Indian startup industry yet, so eligibility of entrepreneurs had to increase.”
He and his wife, co-founder Shubhra Chadda, started Chumbak Designs in 2010. Although, it’s too early to equate the eligibility status of those employed in the startup industry with doctors and engineers in India, Prabhakar said, “When parents hear IIT (graduates) joining startups, they know the sector is a good one.”
For Nilanjan Roy, group business head of SimplyMarry.com, entrepreneurs are the new icons and even those working in traditional firms want to marry them to get a taste of a different lifestyle.
“There is an ‘I want to know’ trend and curiosity about this industry. We have seen a fivefold jump in the last six-eight months in clients looking for a match in the startup world,” said Roy. Matrimonial site jeevansaathi.com too has seen a 55% increase in the last two years.
For those in their 20s and 30s, marrying an entrepreneur generally means one partner having flexible timings and concentrating on wealth creation, while the other works toward paying off home loans and other liabilities.