Matrimony.com, whose flagship brand is BharatMatrimony, which was launched amidst the dotcom bubble of 2000 is now amongst the most powerful digital brands world over. Not many digital companies survived the dotcom bubble bust, however matrimony.com not only survived but excelled and has recently gone public, a feat not many mainstream companies can dream of let alone a digital company.
The man at the centre of all this is as cool as Rahul Dravid, as talented as Sachin Tendulkar and with great leadership skills which could earn praise even from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Meet Murugavel Janakiraman, known as Muruga to his friends and inner circle – the man who gets India married.
Here is the quick look at the Matrimony`s journey so far
The team at Indiadigitalreview recently caught up with him and got him talking.
Matrimony.com has come a long way.. what did you do differently which others in the same era couldn’t.
We kept our focus and I was sure that there is a market and online matrimony will be a successful business model built on the back of paid services. We also were vertically focussed and kept launching niche websites which aided our growth. (Matrimony.com is a clear category leader with over 60% market share in online matrimony space).
You decided to do digital asset at a time when internet wasn’t as powerful as it is today. It could have well be a ofline business. What was the spark to do a digital asset.
Quite true. I launched Matrimony as an idea in 1997, I was in US at that time and saw the internet boom and thought of starting a digital asset. It was started as Tamil Community website and from there we launched BharatMatrimony in 2000.
I had launched the website with only 10 USD in my pocket and bootstrapped it for 6 years continuously. I was working somewhere else to keep the home going, however I was all along sure of the idea and vision. We built BharatMatrimony by keeping a tight control on operations.
Our first investment came after 6 years of operations, we had by then built a sizeable revenue and had expanded to many services.
We raised less than 100 cr in the early rounds of funding and never raised any investment after that.
How do you think the digital industry has evolved in last decade or so.
Back in 2000 when we had launched, credit card usage was still at the lowest, we were infact the first company much before the ecommerce giants started their COD model, who had thought about cash on delivery wherein we used to go to individual houses and collect cash and enter their data online ourselves.
The 2 key changes that have happened are definitely the digital payments and mobile penetration. At Matrimony.com, we get 80% of traffic through mobile and that’s in line with the global digital consumption trends.
What’s the advertising budget mix at matrimony. The spread between digital and traditional media (TV and Print)
Large part of budget goes on Television advertising which builds the brand recall value for us.
You have expanded both horizontally by launching in other countries and vertically by launching community based websites. What does future at matrimony look like.
The future at Matrimony looks great, the wedding services category is worth over USD 50 Million and we are eyeing a larger part of it.
We are trying to organise the highly unorganised categories such as wedding photography through MatrimonyPhotography which offers professional photography and videography services; MatrimonyBazaar.com, an assisted commerce service that helps those getting married save time and money in availing wedding services and MatrimonyMandaps.com which helps users check availability of wedding venues online and book at best prices. Matrimony.com aims to become the single destination for all your wedding requirements.