Shalini Singh, a Bangalore, India-based entrepreneur and matchmaker believes there is no perfect time or place to fall in love. When you know, you know. But Singh was disheartened by apps where members swipe based on appearance and put off by traditional matchmakers who just work off data sets. She wanted to help urban Indians with the process of finding meaningful relationships. Thus andwemet was born. The site is focused on hyper detailed profiles with heavily vetted members, so singles feel safe while searching for a partner.
Singh’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
Romantic relationships involve strong emotions. Which means that a business centred around them cannot be handled the way other businesses are. Those seeking a partner might be secure and confident yet vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heart. They know they want a partner yet they fear emotional heart-burn. I did not like the way matchmaking was being dealt with in India, which mainly involved collecting data and statistics and feeding it to people asking them to select a partner. I also didn’t like the way swiping culture is based on how the individual looks, feeding users profiles that the platform thinks is ‘correct’ for an individual. I believe in love; real romance and relationships. andwemet was born to build a matchmaking service for urban Indians around the globe who are seeking a meaningful relationship.
I would say that my business will have become successful when ‘andwemet’ becomes a verb for matchmaking. Just as Google is for search. I would love to have urban Indians 25 years and above anywhere in the world come onto andwemet if they are seeking a meaningful relationship. I think my site will also have achieved success when people are not embarrassed to say that they met on andwemet or to recommend it to their family and friends. In a broader sense I think andwemet will also achieve success when society at large accepts and celebrates meaningful relationships in the same way they celebrate a marriage. There are those who define their commitment level by marriage or whether or not they live together. I think it would be a victory of sorts if we stop judging others for the relationship “label” they have and accept couples as they are.
Some of my biggest successes to date include, the feedback and acceptance from members applauding andwemet and letting me know that they find it a safe and genuine platform; members becoming part of andwemet ‘s journey, from creating content to sharing suggestions for growth; friends, family, and members’ belief in what I am doing.
I have been questioned about my business and told that it is not an investable venture because I am not in my 20s or 30s, I am not a ‘tech’ person, and because the matchmaking business has not been successful in India. I have listened to it all and questioned myself several times but it has only resulted in me being more determined to bring back trust into online matchmaking.
My most important role models are my parents. My father for his discipline, never taking short cuts to reach the end goal, thinking end-to-end, handling crisis calmly, and his hard work. My mother for being content and her ability to maintain relationships.