Afaqs reports that Manorama online the online division of Kerala based Malayala Manorama which is the largest selling regional newspaper in the whole of India has launched a matrimonial portal called M4marry.com which is an exclusive matrimony portal for Malayalees.
Now recently we saw how the current matrimony portals were waring with strategies that were similar. Also there are almost 4 top matrimony portals (bharatmatrimony, shaadi, jeevansaathi and simplymarry) already in the country with large funding or media companies backing them.
So the question that arises is that is such a regional portal worth the time for Malayala Manorama?
Firstly lets understand that the popularity of the newspaper and its online site manoramaonline.com is immense in kerala. As Mariam matthew COO of Manorama Online states “Manoramaonline.com (in Malayalam and English) receives about 350 million page views per month and about 12 pages are viewed per user”
Given this traction an online matrimony model does make sense given their strong connect with the malayalee audience.
Agreed on the available opportunity..But is there a need from the audience?
Well the site has been accepting registrations and has already got 55,000 registrations in its first month! So thats some indication of traction. Besides for the numbers I go back to a conversation that I had with maneesh a WATblogger (and also a malayalee himself) just a week back where he admitted that his dad would only allow him to marry a Malayalee girl! Now if staying in mumbai city the malayalee community still wants to marry within its own community I can only imagine how strong this need would be if they were in Kerela itself. When I further questioned him on were all malayalee’s that traditional his answer was a prompt yes!
So what can other matrimony portals do?
Well I feel other matrimony portals cant do much as M4Marry rides on the brand value of malayala manorama which has been around for over a century and probably challenging it in Kerela would be like challenging a tiger in its den! But I somehow feel matrimony guys should get more active on the vernacular language front and Ill illustrate why in my next follow up post.