Aisle : Connecting eligible indians worldwide

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 Aisle is a new startup in the field of “find your soulmate”. I agree that there are multiple platforms mushrooming these days in this segment, but believe me it is something distinct…

Even if you are so eager to join Aisle, you have registered on the website; they won’t let you in until they are sure that you fulfill the criteria to be on-board.

In India we talk about development, equality and other jargon but we are still lagging in this area of finding the one, which is a very important and unavoidable part of our life.

Able Joseph is the man who thought about it and started Aisle. Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with him, let see what he wants to share with us.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?
The Aisle journey started on December 29th, 2013. Although I saw a need for such a platform for years, it was after a much needed call with my father that I finally started drawing wire frames and making map minds to see how the existing pain points could be addressed. I had a demanding full time job at the time which did not help my cause. But by the 4th week of 2014, I finally had the designs and product flow ready.

 

Techaloo: Where are you based out of?
We are based out the city we all met and dearly love – Bangalore.

 

Techaloo: What motivated you to start Aisle?
A couple of things. Firstly, because of my friends who are absolutely attractive and intelligent, in their late 20’s and had given up looking for the man who they could vibe with. Secondly, my break up with the woman who my family and I thought would be a good match, had me thinking about this product a lot more. The truth is, it is not uncommon for a pretty girl to be single as much as she doesn’t want to.

 

Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting aisle?
Our vision is to bring hope back to the urban community. The situation among the independent youth today has deteriorated, having to give up on and almost go against, the institution of marriage. What I see today is a lot of unnecessary conditioning on social and other media against tying the knot, which is certainly not good for our society if you think about it. We believe that we can change that for some. We will start by ironing out the flaws introduced by online and offline marriage bureaus. Slowly but surely, through creative methods of marketing, we wish to re-instil faith in marriage among the singles.

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Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?
Not much. Because I was working with internet startups in Dubai which went on to raise capital, I was blessed with capital to meet our initial expenses, years of experience and won over my friends who are part of the founding batch at Aisle, fairly quickly. It almost feels like it was meant to be 🙂

 

Techaloo: Why the name Aisle?
For starters, we are a niche product and can only be accessible by urbanised Indians. Aisle is a word that is sometimes mispronounced by those who do not fall into our target audience, they wouldn’t relate to us. Which helps us save time in operations because of our strict screening process. We also wanted our users to know that we do not encourage casual dating and the word Aisle symbolizes what we hope to be the last link in the chain of committed-relationships. It’s short, simple and will make sense to Indians worldwide.

 

aisle1Techaloo: Tell us something about your services.
We’ve built a clean intuitive interface that let’s our users concentrate on the task at hand – finding their soulmate. The product has new age elements like interest meters and preferences. Using the interest meters our users can display their passion for cooking, music, gaming etc. on a scale of 1-10. In the preferences section they can reveal more about their personality or even choose to let other users know if they prefer to adopt a child than procreate. This is important for the new age Indians and we also ensure our users get to connect with individuals of similar wavelengths at Aisle. All in all, what we do is give our users a clean, discreet, spam-free environment to look for their partner. We don’t use algorithms to match profiles, which means that our users can use their own discretion and intelligence to connect with those they are interested in.

 

Techaloo: Which countries are you getting traffic from?
Top 5 would include – India, USA, UAE, Singapore and Australia in that particular order.

 

Techaloo: How are you different from your competitors in various segments?
Here are the top 5:

• We are a niche product. We only target urban Indian singles

• Our users have to apply for membership. If the applicant meets the initial criteria, we further verify his credentials through a phone conversation, this could last anywhere between 2-10 minutes. We try and ensure all Aisle members are emotionally mature and have exceptional communication skills. This process has been devised to ensure every individual will connect with somebody interesting at Aisle, if approved

• We don’t work on a subscription model which promotes spam, in the form on uninvited phone calls or messages

• Aisle profiles are not managed by parents or relatives, but by the users themselves

• We don’t play with matters of the heart. Meaning, we don’t use algorithms to tell our users who they should or should not connect with

• All fields are mandatory. There are no incomplete, face-less profiles on Aisle

 

 

Techaloo: Why a telephonic confirmation is required after signing up?
We couldn’t think of a better alternative to make sure that the applicant is legit and meets our criteria, if not for human interaction. It does add to our operational overheads, but that’s alright, we’ll settle for karma points 🙂

 

Techaloo: Why have you restricted signing up using social media platforms only?
Two reasons. One, we are a quality over quantity business. Email signups well are too easy. They are so easy that most people use false information to ’try-out’. Subconsciously, this might make a potential member think that Aisle is just another one of ‘those’. We clearly aren’t. Two, user experience. Once a member, you are just a click away from logging in. That’s convenient, isn’t it?

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Techaloo: What is the motive behind such a strict entry for singles?
Because all other business models exist and have failed to appeal to our target audience. We are positioning ourselves to be a premium product. We’d like to have local celebrities and influencers find their soul mates on Aisle, someday. This is the only way we can win them over.

 

Techaloo: How is the response till now?
We’ve been receiving a lot of thank you mails from our users, especially women. They feel secure on Aisle. At the same time, we have been getting mails from some of the impatient applicants because of our lengthy screening process. We are working on optimizing this process.

 

Techaloo: How many couples have met because of aisle till now?
We couldn’t know, this is something that we do not track as of today. We rather have couples who meet on Aisle write to us voluntarily. That’d bring a smile to our faces. Can’t wait 🙂

 

Techaloo: What about support from your family, while starting?
This is the third time I’m starting up. The first two had to be discussed in detail in a family setting. But this time around, they are actively involved in my day-to-day life. My father helped with the company registration process and continues to assist me with the paper work. My mother has a good eye, she lets me know if there are any design flaws. I think they are as excited as I am 🙂

 

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?
Without giving too much away, we are looking to build an ecosystem around the wedding industry. In the next 3 years we hope to be known to every Indian who falls into the category of our target audience.

 

Techaloo: What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
India has an amazing startup culture and I see great products being built by our community, no complaints. But I’ve come to believe that marketing experience and an eye for design is what’s going to help an entrepreneur differentiate oneself from the rest of the crowd. I’d encourage all Indian entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to see the value in understanding internet marketing and UI/UX. It would be great if young entrepreneurs get as creative with their designs as they do with their ideas.

 

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?
Tech Aloo forms an important platform to products like Aisle. It is a great initiative to help startups and entrepreneurs share their stories with the world. Thanks for having Aisle on TechAloo. Just one thing though, would love for you to post inspiring content on a regular basis.

 

Meet the team Aisle
(From left to right : Srishti Kataria, Able Joseph, Riti Ray, Dwai Majumdar)

Srishti Kataria, Able Joseph, Riti Ray and Dwai Majumdar

Able Joseph, Founder – Aisle

A Google certified advertising & analytics professional, an ex-musician and a lover of aesthetically pleasing hardware and software, who has managed over $2M in online advertising. He helped build and scale 3 e-commerce startups in Dubai after having to shut down his online pet clothing store headquartered in Bangalore. He drives the product, it’s design and it’s positioning.

 

Srishti Kataria, Manager User Relations/ Hire – Aisle

A published forensic scientist and a former lecturer at Mumbai University. Her ability to speak multiple languages landed her at her former company, a Bangalore based start­up, where she was handling Business Development and Client Relations. She and her team will be the ones who will call our applicants to validate their credentials and to see if they are a good fit for our community.

 

Riti Ray, Manager Public Relations – Aisle

She has represented prominent organizations from varied sectors of lifestyle, fashion, consumer and education, helping them plan and build their brand through strategic communication for 6 long years. Her key skills include traditional and digital media relations, content creation, crisis management and creating innovative brand campaigns. She is a great networker and is our spokesperson.

 

Dwai Majumdar, Research Executive – Aisle

He is responsible for soliciting people’s opinion, to find out why people think or buy a certain way. His keen sense of observation and analytical skills, helps perform extensive research and conduct surveys. His primary focus lies in scouting information from various locations on the Internet such as forums and review websites and applying them diligently to various business processes.

 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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