Igniting Love from New York to India
Thanks to three entrepreneurial New Yorkers, young professionals in India finally have the chance of finding digital love without jumping on the online matrimonial bandwagon.
When Kevin Owoki, Daniel Osit and Adam Sachs first created Ignighter.com, an online dating site with a social twist, they had no idea that the Web site would gain such immense popularity in the faraway land of India.
The Web site’s founders first created Ignighter in the hopes of revolutionizing the online dating world by encouraging young professionals to date in casual group settings, rather than on one-on-one blind dates.
The social structure of the site allows users to form online groups and appoint an ambassador responsible for organizing the logistics for group dates. The focus still remains on finding romantic partners, but in a far more relaxed and low-pressure social setting than traditional first dates.
When the site was first starting up in New York in 2008, Sachs noticed unusually high traffic coming from Asia—particularly urban centers in India. The group chose to ignore the traffic at first and focused on marketing the site in Manhattan, but eventually the numbers were far too appealing to ignore.
Quickly recognizing the business potential of group dating in India, Ignighter’s starters decided to refocus their priorities and branded themselves as an Indian dating website. Young professionals in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad welcomed the site with open arms, viewing it as a toned down version of popular matrimonial sites like Shaadi.com and Bharat Matrimony.
Though dating attitudes in urban Indian centers are progressing rapidly, older generations are still fairly conservative, making it difficult for young professionals to make time for romantic excursions. The group focus of Ignighter.com makes it easy for young Indians to convince their parents to embark on unsupervised romantic adventures.
The site is ideal for recent graduates and young professionals in Indian cities who are seeking social dating networks, but aren’t ready to commit to traditional wedding pyres just yet. Though Ignighter’s presence in India is still in its early stages, its founders are optimistic about the future of group dating in India for the next generation.
Ignighter’s desi success is still to be determined, but in the meantime, hats off to the starters for their accidental discovery of an untapped dating market.
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