Dating is changing in India and across the world, and the pandemic has also fueled a lot of this change. Sister duo Tanisha Ghura Kanani, co-founder and business head, and Priyanka Ghura Kuka, co-founder & creative head, of Not So Arranged are addressing the psychological angle, too.
Kanani, a marketing executive and co-founder of Bombay Marketing Group (a marketing advisory firm) has, over 15 years, worked in Mumbai, New York City and Washington D.C., in various marketing roles in different companies, and thus pushed her to grow personally, learn to be adaptable, dynamic and be a people’s person.
“I am a firm believer in ‘going after what you believe in and working towards your dreams and goals,’” she says. “I grew up in Dubai and moved to Mumbai when I was 16. I have also lived and worked in the US for six and a half years as a marketer before moving back to Mumbai in 2019 and starting Bombay Marketing Group with my husband.”
Kuka has a background in digital content spanning over nine years as well as a degree in psychology, which is great for better understanding dating behavior in the 21st century.
“I have worked with three startups in editorial roles, the most prominent being with POPxo for six years,” she says. “I joined them before they launched and was a part of the founding team. I was fortunate to help, establish and grow the editorial team from scratch. I was also the beauty editor for two years before becoming assistant rditor at POPxo. After POPxo, I worked with another beauty start-up with focus on content and e-commerce.”
This was also around the time that the concept of Not So Arranged was born. In March 2020, Kuka quit her job to focus on Not So Arranged full time.
Making a Difference
The sisters had personal experience with the arranged marriage set up that did not work out for one of them. They observed how their close friends and cousins were struggling to have meaningful dates and wanted to change this.
People were trying hard to find a meaningful connection with terrible experiences via the common dating apps, they say, arguing that dating shouldn’t be this difficult; it should be fun and lighthearted.
The USP of the site is taking dating offline to match like-minded singles – scientifically – through their compatibility quiz. The approach focuses on quality over quantity, blending psychology with dating behavior.
“We are about personality over profile,” says Kuka. “Our aim is to find you a meaningful match who will actually compliment your personality and lifestyle. Our compatibility quotient won’t tell you whether you will fall in love with the person, but it can tell you whether it is a good idea if you did.”
The team’s chief psychologist (who specializes in relationship therapy, behavioral research and premarital assessment) has spent months creating a customized quiz to help measure the compatibility of individuals to each other. The quiz deep dives into an ‘About You’ session, gathering information to help find great potential matches. The compatibility quotient does the rest.
The Compatibility Quiz helps you to know someone before making a commitment. This quiz has two parts that assess both compatibility and personality.Tanisha Ghura Kanani Co-founder, Creative Head
With 85% of their matches taking the conversation beyond the first date and 95% of members providing post-date feedback that the conversation was extremely easy-flowing and not forced or awkward, the young team is certainly on track to make dates matter.
They say their service is more personal since the team is accessible to members, and that they consider each person’s preferences when finding a match. They say the aim is to find someone who makes their customers happy, while ensuring the process is fun.
Psychology to find a suitable match
Panna Kamaljit, their in-house psychologist and therapist, with a decade of experience, lives and breathes psychology. As a couple’s therapist, she has had an inside view of relationships that makes her believe that love comes in all forms. The process helps people find someone they are actually on the same wavelength, matches as they are on personality, thoughts, values and dating behavior.