September 24, 2019

Book Excerpt: The rise of Bharat Matrimony

In 1997, Muruga was working in the US as a consultant when he discovered the internet. He says, I knew I wanted to do something on the internet. As I searched online for offerings for Indians, I saw content sites like Sify.com, Samachar.com, and Rediff.com. I thought of starting with something familiar to me, which was my Tamil community. I designed and coded a website called sysindia.com in just a few days in 1997. I threw in features like the Tamil daily calendar, festival reminders, tips, etc. One could register their email address on Sysindia and choose the festivals for which they wanted reminders. We would email them before the festival with details regarding what is auspicious, etc. If one wanted to book tickets to India, they could put up a request on Sysindia. We would send the details to travel agencies to do the customer’s bidding. There was also a Tamil greeting cards section and finally, a matrimonial service.’

For two and a half years, Muruga continued to work on Sysindia as a one-man army along with a day job. He worked on the website after work as a hobby until, one day, he put his own profile on the matrimonial service. The man who is now his father-in-law reached out to him and asked for his horoscope. They had a match! That’s when it dawned upon him that users of his site—mostly bachelors—were using the matrimonial service more than anything else and that there was an opportunity to build an exclusive matrimony service. Murugu adds, I initially launched only Tamil and Telugu matrimony because I was born and brought up in Royapuram, Chennai, which has a sizeable Telugu community. BharatMatrimony.com was available as a domain and that became the parent name.’

Read the entire excerpt here on the news minute.