“i m 23 handsome M frm mumbai wana b ur frnd,contact if ur intrestd”

While Davda and his team were busy trying to develop a product that was Indian not just in name but in soul–a kind of Ignighter 2.0–new ideas and newer strategies were threatening to sweep the business of online love in India. One in particular was premised on preempting those very India-specific cultural challenges Ignighter was struggling to counter.

In early 2010, Arjun Sawhney, a branding consultant based in Delhi, was talking to a banker couple that had recently returned to India about the cultural shifts they had observed since they arrived and the scope for new businesses. The couple knew more and more people who were working and single; and many others were choosing to divorce rather than stay in unsatisfying marriages. The idea that hit them then was a dating website for young Indians—but one that put women in control. All three had seen the success of dating websites in the West, and sensed that Indians were ready for the concept, too. But unless ways to overcome the unromantic realities burdening Indian romance were built in from the start, they felt the idea would crash and burn.

The team’s opening statement read: “No other dating website in the world truly commits itself to India, to our unique tastes and preferences. We are not a mere extension of a site that is run out of the US or UK! We believe that this nation is ready for it’s own contemporary and cool website that tries to capture who we are and what we want.”

Read More | “Casting the Net” | Snigdha Poonam | The Caravan

Namaste Inc.

Greatly influential on Western impressions of India, the ancient greeting <i>namaste</i> has since been exploited by that country’s tourism industry for the purpose of attracting Western visitors, who have been sold on the idea that their impressions will be made real by compliant natives