Jewish guys in New York revolutionize India dating scene

Jewish guys in New York revolutionize India dating scene

Years ago, an online testing company in the USA found most of its international revenue coming from India.  And Hotmail’s founder reported that with no specific effort, over 30% of its users in the first 18 months came from India as well. I just wrote about social networking in India earlier this week.

Now here comes a story about a dating website, based in New York city that had reconfigured itself to serve young men and women in India.  Their unique offering is group dating, which has a natural appeal in India, a country where “helicopter” parents worry about single offsprings and the consequences of pre-marital dating.  Just as some Mexicans send chaperones to watch over dates, having a group setting makes it more acceptable to date in India.  Inc. magazine carried a nice interview with the CEO of Ignighter this month.

According to a story in today’s New York Times, the founders of the company  couldn’t ignore the traffic from Asia — specifically India, which by then had more visitors than any other Asian country. Ignighter was gaining hundreds of users a day, mainly from New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.  “In January 2010, we made the decision that we are an Indian dating site,” Mr. Sachs says. And now, with almost two million users — and 7,000 more signing up daily — Ignighter is considered India’s fastest-growing dating Web site. To put it another way, it gets as many users in a week in India as it did in a year in the United States. Next month, Ignighter will open an office in India and hire a dozen local employees. The company has stopped developing its American site, though it remains online.

The company’s founders the three founders — Kevin Owocki, now 26, Daniel Osit, 29, and Adam Sachs, 28 have not visited India yet,  according to the story.

Takeaway: India is a market for the most unexpected companies and offerings. Don’t assume that what you know about India continues to be true.


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