New Delhi, July 30 :

Making matches makes good business sense too. The online matrimony services in India are fast emerging among the quickly growing business segments, with about 90 per cent growth rate annually.

“Matrimonial websites are continuing on the path of high trajectory growth, garnering Rs 580 million Indian Currency (IC) ($13 million) in 2005-06 and expected to cross Rs 980 million IC

($22 million) in 2006-07,” states a report from the Internet and Mobile Association

of India (IAMAI), “There has been a surge in subscription of online matrimonial services from four million subscribers in 2004-05 to 5.5 million in 2005-06 and it is estimated to grow to seven million users by 2006-07.”

According to the report, the growth in the last year can be attributed to the growing social acceptance of online matrimonial services. This itself is the result of several online matrimonial services setting offline centres spread across more than 10 cities. The not-so-net-savvy consumers are aided by executives at these offline centres to subscribe to multiple services as well as search the existing database first hand.

Interestingly, a survey conducted by IAMAI to detail the profile of users of matrimonial services revealed that about 25 per cent of the respondents using these services were married and had kids too.

The survey also indicates that more and more people in smaller cities were using these services. About 28 per cent of the respondents who used the Internet for matrimonial activity were from smaller cities, the report stated. The report has cited several reasons indicating a big boom on the cards for the online matrimonial services. India has one of the youngest populations and the fourth largest Internet population in the world. There are 38.5 million online Indians today. The number is set to touch 100 million by 2007-08.

“The web has revolutionised matchmaking as a business and has brought affordable and convenient matchmaking to the masses as it addresses better matches, better searches, better tools and greater ease of use,” the IAMAI report states. “It allows flexibility in finding the right partner as a simple search across multiple parameters filtering databases a service which is immediate, convenient and comprehensive.”