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Mansi Khandelwal

IWB Blogger

Tinder India CEO Taru Kapoor Swipes Right To Our Date & Here’s What Followed

  • IWB Post
  •  February 13, 2018

Despite the concept of online dating being in a nascent stage in our country, Tinder launched its operations in India in January 2016 and took no time to become the most used and love-swiped app!

However, there still prevails an air of discomfort around the idea of online dating. Even today, many Indian women are not so cool about finding a match online through an app owing to safety and authenticity concerns. No matter how surprising it sounds, India is the largest market in Asia for California headquartered location-based dating app Tinder, says its India head, Taru Kapoor.

To delve deeper into the business of the app, we spoke to Taru Kapoor. Excerpts:

What is the most unique feature of Tinder?

Tinder has changed the way that people meet and date around the world. We brought the dating experience to mobile, and we’ve pioneered the double opt-in and swipe features. We were also the first dating app to attract the highly coveted youth audience. It’s difficult to select one particular feature.

While the Tinder experience is universal, users in India especially enjoy Tinder’s messaging feature. In fact, Tinder users in India have the longest conversations of any market worldwide.  Super Like is also very popular in India – 1 million Super Likes are sent in the region each week. We have also noticed that women in India feel empowered by the feature, sending Super Likes more often than men, according to the latest data.

What new features can we expect in the next update of Tinder?

We are always working on an array of interesting initiatives to make the product better for our users. For example, a while back we introduced the option to include your current job and education in your profile. It has been very well-received by our users, especially in India, and has improved the quality of matches. And many more updates are coming to your way!

Taru Kapoor

What do Indian women do differently in online dating as compared to a physical date?

At Tinder when you have to message anyone, you both must indicate interest by “liking” each other (swiping right). This is a very different and empowering dynamic compared to meeting someone new offline or the older methods through which people met online, where anyone could message you regardless of your preferences and interest.

At Tinder, we have observed that women feel more empowered online as they have much more hold of the conversation. They are more vocal and strong – both in their opinions and preferences as revealed by our recent in-app survey.

The survey that sought to discover the most swipe worthy types for men and women saw a staggering 64.7% women voting ‘a bragger’ as most worthy of a left swipe.

A man who is boring came a close second, with 64.5% votes. It’s a definite cue for men to stop getting into endless story-telling, and instead – take ideas from their partner’s bio to keep the conversation interesting.

Also, more than 50% of women have voted to swipe left to cheesy pick-up lines. Turns out, ‘How ya doing?’ works best for only fictional characters.

What are the three biggest challenges you face in Indian market while promoting Tinder?

Tinder is the social discovery platform of choice for the trendsetting youth. In India, traditionally there have been plenty of structural barriers that make it almost impossible for people to meet new people and forge relationships outside their immediate social circles.

Tinder in India, in many ways, is creating a new social dynamic by pioneering online dating. Tinder provides a safe and low-pressure environment that empowers users to choose their own destiny.

The very premise of double opt-in that Tinder is built on puts power & freedom of choice into the hands of users. Tinder empowers them to express themselves, find and interact with like-minded people of their choice in a comfortable, controlled environment.

How does Tinder handle the gender stigma since not everybody is cool with seeing women on dating apps as compared to men in our country?

Tinder is the first app to break down the barriers involved with meeting new people on such a massive scale, and we are excited to continue empowering people to make new connections in India and around the world.

While dating and romance have been Tinder’s most popular use cases, Tinder is really the best way to meet new people today. Our users, particularly women, are empowered to make new connections and meet new, like-minded individuals.

Taru Kapoor

How would you like to change the taboo around dating apps being a hooking up platform?

Tinder, both globally and in India, in many ways, is creating a new social dynamic – reimagining the way people will meet and connect with each other in future. In India, social circles that dominate our typical interactions have been more structured and tight-knit.

Social barriers and norms of propriety have made it difficult for people to meet new people outside their immediate family, friend groups or professional circles. In India, we simply haven’t grown up in a manner where you can walk up to someone at a coffee-shop or bar or on the street and strike up a conversation.

Every person has a different vision and expectation from every individual interaction which is why the definitions of dating are vastly varying, understanding of desire is complex, yet the nature of relationships has not changed much.  You still need to get to know someone, find out if you have a connection and see where that connection takes you.

Some relationships last a lifetime and others do not.  Technology may redefine the way in which these relationships are facilitated. However, it cannot waver this fundamental truth.

In India, it has been one of our key efforts to steer conversation and debate around dating.

I’m a firm believer that internet-enabled platforms will become the norm of how we meet people in the future. I believe that platforms like ours will become the de facto way of discovering and meeting new people.

Share with us that one Tinder tale that restored your faith in true love.

While it’s impossible to track and count every individual relationship that starts with Tinder, we’ve received tens of thousands of success stories from people who met on Tinder around the world – and continue to receive more every day.

These stories range from new relationships to engagements, and marriages.

However, the recent heartwarming stories that we received was one where the couple recently got married after swiping right to each other on Tinder. It was interesting to know that a catchy bio and display pictures showcasing their love for travel, made them right swipe to each other.

Your advice to women on breaking the glass ceiling in the corporate world?

Women across the world are creating waves and shaping our world by adding more meaning to its existence. Also, India has witnessed a huge change in the last few years. India is definitely making that cultural shift where we are increasingly seeing women make strides in the workplace.

Being the country head of a social discovery app feels empowering and I wish exactly that for every woman in the country – to be empowered today and every day. It is important to realize and exercise the power of choice that rests with all of us and also remember the significance of role we play in shaping the society.

[We first published this story in March 2017]

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