"Most Indians prefer to marry within their community. Religion, community, age, location, height, education, occupation are all important and basic criteria when it comes to partner search," BharatMatrimony.com Founder-CEO, Murugavel Janakiraman told PTI.
He says expectations are the same among prospective brides and grooms in urban and rural areas. "Today's youth, even from rural areas are also keen on finding a partner who share common interests, hobbies and passions," he said.
Janakiraman said their initiative, "Soulmate Search" helps members identify the perfect match based on "mutual likes" like hobbies and interests. "This is one of the most important features preferred by people who plan to get married," he said.
Popular Chennai-based matrimonial site Kalyana Malai Matrimony founder-Chairman V Venkatesan has a different take, saying his firm identifies brides or grooms only from urban areas.
"The trend is that 95 per cent of people prefer to get married to someone in urban areas. The shift may be from a rural area to mega city like Chennai or Bangalore. Unless there are exceptional cases of marrying a boy or a girl hailing from a rural area", he said.
Janakiraman said development of newer technologies has enhanced level of security and verification of profiles, improved privacy and created safer and more real-time communication options. "We can hold virtual matrimony meets for thousands of people from multiple communities in a day".
He said religion, community, age, location, height, education and occupation play an important role in selection, irrespective of location.
Janakiraman said their service DivorceMatrimony.com has found many takers. "Divorce has become a way for many men and women to break free from the clutches of tough marriages".
KMM''s Venkatesan said their services through "multiple platforms" through websites, magazines and tie up with TV channels has been a huge success.
"There are too many load factors (that lead to complications) if you add social networking sites. Our uniqueness is in conducting exclusive meets between families.
We bring parents of boys and girls of various communities under one platform. In addition, we also offer caste based programmes targeting them," he said.
Since launch of this service in the year 2000, they have been visiting all rural districts and towns on weekends, he said. "Though there are various means of communication like TV, mobile and internet, most marriages are successful as the families meet and decide on the groom or bride".
He said they offer free services for widows, physically challenged and orphans. "Till date we have about 300 marriages for widows," he said, adding they also provide services to divorcees and free service to widows.
He said this service is offered for Tamils and they intend to expand it in Telugu, Kannada and Malayali communities.