IdontWantDowry is a matrimonial portal that has been launched by a Hyderabad based web services company called NKG. As the name suggests, this is a meeting ground for those Indians, who regard dowry as a social evil and want to meet like-minded life partners. I was not aware of this site myself and discovered it after receiving a tip off from one of Webyantraâ€™s readers.
Idontwantdowry.com is like any other matrimonial portal but it is trying to carve out a niche by positioning itself as a social crusader. The site was launched in April and seems to be have app 3000 members currently, which is good for a start. The siteâ€™s basic look & feel as well as its navigation is quite well designed. Additionally, it will feature classified ads from non computer savvy users, who believe in the anti-dowry cause and want prospective brides/grooms to contact them through offline means. The intent behind the website is worth commendable; however I was a little surprised by the ability for users to search for partners on the basis of caste (there is a very long list of castes on the site). Wish they had refrained from this (seemingly) retrograde step; it would have made their case even stronger.
Something that really struck me about the site was its very smart positioning. For the online matrimonial space in India has a bunch of very effective and well managed websites (Shaadi, JeevanSathi, BharatMatrimony et al) and getting noticed amongst that bunch for a small, low budget website would not be easy. However by identifying a unique niche (specially one that has a social hook as well), Idontwantdowry.com has managed to do exactly that. It has received fairly good coverage in the media (press, television, internet). It’s also worth noting that this is NOT a non-profit site; but their positioning has given a very humane touch to their commercial motives.
I think, thereâ€™s a key learning here for all those people, who dream of creating a web product or service in a space that already has well established players e.g. job sites, travel portals etc. Instead of trying to be the nth player in a saturated market, it makes sense to identify a niche and be the first one to cater to it. And as IdontWantDowry has shown, if you think hard, you’ll surely find many such niches’ waiting to be discovered.