Marriage Broker Auntie
is always evolving to address gaps in the matrimonial markets, and to provide greater value to customers, just as any start-up. One such endeavour was launching the assisted search service on M.B.A.
I created and managed people’s matrimonial profiles, and made introductions to relevant prospects by helping them them cut through the noise on various matrimonial platforms.
Initially this started only with a couple of friends, as I wanted to be close to the market so I could provide greater value to my advisory clients. I wanted to gain insights from larger datasets as opposed to my own little database.
Soon, others wanted to engage my services, and so I decided to advertise it on my website. It was a logical extension of the advisory service, adding immense value to my customers. At the same time, personally speaking, it was an immensely insightful experience for me being a part of the market. It also made me realise how naive my perspective was previously, without my own skin in the game.
With skin in the game
There was a marked difference in the clientele of the assistance. I saw this difference indirectly, through my own interactions with them – these were people who REALLY did not want to be single anymore, very little time was spent in introspection and I mostly refrained from providing unsolicited market insights. I always focussed on rummaging through the market to make relevant introductions.
This reminded me of an “art installation”contest in VTU’s (my university) annual cultural festival, where I was the undisputed champion for three years. The contest worked like this – you’d be given a theme, and you’d be expected to make an art installation from existing materials (whatever you carried for the event before you knew the theme).
Finding relevant prospects for my clients on matrimonial websites is somewhat like this – orchestrating magic out of platforms that’s nothing but a last resort for most people on it. My clients are always made aware of the possibility of miracles happening here, rather the lack it. My clients understand this perfectly, and they simply hire me to save bandwidth, and heartburn.
I am pretty good at what I do, but increasingly over the last year, I kept feeling like I was selling myself cheap. I was working very very hard for very little money. As I increased prices every quarter to eventually get on par with the rest of the market (Assisted Matrimony
, Select Shaadi,
etc.), I realised that my joy wasn’t correlated with the revenues. I realised this when I out-priced the market at one point, and people were STILL interested in hiring my services.
At this point, I could hire people who would do the filtering on my behalf, in order to scale. But that’s precisely what these big matrimonial firms do – employ relationship managers who’ve little to no domain knowledge and have a very poor understanding of their customers’ needs. While I may be providing superior customer experience, I realised that I am not solving any problems by adopting a model that already existed. I needed to take a moment to pause, reflect and learn something from this experience to help unlock my own journey forward.
So, I’ve stopped advertising this service on my website. I am immensely grateful to all my clients who trusted and engaged my assistance services over the last one year. I will continue to serve my existing clients until we complete our engagements. Going forward, I will serve a very limited clientele with the sole purpose of staying in touch with the market, and these registrations will be invite only.
If any of you still want to engage my assistance service, then you will need to first book a Quickie
, post which you may be extended an invitation subject to availability.