#Asia Custom-made: Online concepts made in India just for India

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From arranging marriages to finding the ‘more-important-than-husband’ maid, these Indian web portals have you covered

indians

India is a diverse country with the number of languages and Gods that could fill a town or maybe a couple of towns in Europe. There are, however, some unique characteristics that can unite all Indians, no matter which part of the country they are, or for that matter, which part of the world.

Tech startups have tapped into the sentiments of India right from religion to the big world of weddings, taking many age-old traditions to the next level — where you can please your grandmother with a quick online prayer or put a smile on your mother’s face by checking out the 500 boys she thinks are the best suited to you and the family.

Here are some things that can only work in India:

The family wedding


indian wedding

Marriage is serious business in India. It not only involves the bride and groom, or the immediate family but also distant relatives and neighbours.

So while earlier, Sunday reading for parents looking for brides or grooms for their children was restricted to a dedicated eight-to-sixteen-page section in any mainstream newspaper, the online boom just exploded the number of options.

Arranged marriages are a very accepted and common way to the altar in India, and with websites such as Shaadi, Bharatmatrimony and Infoedge-backed Jeevansaathi, you can pick and choose a candidate based on their caste, height, colour, or even profession and salary earned.

A multi-billion dollar industry, weddings are a common way of showing the world and their uncles how well-to-do you are. And while dowry is illegal in India, gifting your children with whatever the in-laws want is not.

Ever wondered what your gifting worth would be? Satirical website Dowrycaluclator.com can help you with that. Based on your salary, qualifications and looks, you can get a rough estimate as to how much dowry you can demand from the bride’s family. Just to clarify the website does not promote the concept of dowry, but is intended at poking fun at this practice.

Religion sells

epuja

Are your exams close? Is the girl next door still not even looking at you? Or is the boss driving you nuts? Do you need divine intervention? Worry not! A click of a button is all you need to offer prayers and receive or gift ‘Prasad’ or food token that is offered in temples.

Temples and spiritual healing have been synonymous with India, so with the dawn of the digital era, spirituality and religion have also upgraded to levels that can be paid for by Mastercard.

A number of websites including epuja.co.in, onlineprasad or onlinetemple have become increasingly popular. They offer not only prayers at your chosen temple but also astrological readings and live chats with priests. Combo deals and prayers targetted at specific problems including relief from sins of previous birth or for better job prospects are also a hit.

Also Read: Can India build the next Silicon Valley?

Most important member of the house — Domestic Help

bookmybai

Just like the conversation starter for an Englishman is the weather, in India for a majority of women it’s the domestic help. The common joke is that you can survive without your husband but if the maid takes a day off, life seems to come to an end.

Bookmybai.com (bai being the Hindi word for house help) hit the right nerve when it tried to provide a consolidated platform to a highly unorganised sector. It offers reliable and secure services of maids, drivers, cooks and help for the elderly.

The common practice is to find domestic help — part-time or full time — by word-of-mouth, but with the increasingly busy lifestyles and lesser interaction with neighbours, Bookmybai provides the easiest way.

Also Read: Sexy n naughty! Beyond inhibitions emerges India’s online lingerie mkt

Shhhhh….Lingerie

zivame4

India is the land of the Kamasutra, but God forbid you mention women’s lingerie in public. Women’s lingerie, sensuous wear even regular innerwear is still a secret conveyed in hushed tones. Many women still cringe at the idea of going to a shop and purchasing a bra from a man.

The online sale of intimate wear has enabled women to not only spend time in reviewing the product they want to buy, but also helps them to explore their kinky side in private. The anonymity of the contents of the parcel and a size and style guide to purchase lingerie of the correct size is definitely a key selling point for websites like Zivame, Strapsandstrings, Clovia, and more.

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