The results of a recent survey conducted by a major Indian online matrimonial service are proof that marriage is a business -- at least for the over 1.5 lakh Indians and NRIs who participated. Apart from the traditional parameters of money (94% of the men said they were "open" to marrying someone who earned less than they did, compared to 34% women), education (62% men would prefer to marry a woman who is as educated as them, while 69% women would prefer someone more educated), age (72% men would prefer marrying someone who was younger than them, while 89% women preferred an older man), the survey found that Indians are willing to place more emphasis on compatibility over horoscopes and are open to getting a pre-nuptial agreement (62% men deemed it somewhat to very important, compared to 70% women).
"We found that women with siblings prefer to get married to guys with siblings. Also, since more women have started working, they prefer a joint family system as it provides them with a safety net," explains the Business Head of the website.
Simran Kaur, (26), a consultant for an MNC, who participated in the survey agrees. "I would prefer to get married to a guy who has a sibling, so that family responsibilities get divided," she says. The survey also marks the resurgence of the 'eligible engineer'.
"It as a job preference took a beating around the time of the recession, but is now seeing a return. Working in the private sector has also become a more viable alternative, as corporate jobs have become more attractive," adds Gourav.
Aniruddha Pant (29), chartered accountant, who has only just started "seeing girls", says that he is keen on someone who has "dreams and ambitions", provided she puts family first. "I come from a nuclear family and have a hectic job, which means that there are times when she would need to take a break and take care of my parents."
And yes, he would prefer a woman who is "fair-skinned" though it's "okay" if she is a year or two older than him. Omkar Shrinivasan (33), who works in the marketing department of a media company, believes that it boils down to practicality. "In Mumbai, you can't afford to be with someone who prefers to be a homemaker, unless she is raising kids."
Bride and groom: Made to order
Key findings from the survey, conducted by the online matrimony site...
72% of the men said they would prefer their spouse to be younger than them
89% of the women said that they would prefer their spouse to be older than them.
Second base? Sure
89% of the women said they would be willing to shift base (country) post marriage. Interestingly, men were not asked the same question.
Overweight? Fat chance
73% of the men said they were not open to marrying a woman who is overweight.
77% of the women said they were not open to marrying a man who is overweight.
Fair is lovely
1% of the men said they were open to the idea of marrying a woman with a dark complexion, as opposed to 49% who would prefer a 'fair' bride.
5% of the women said that they were open to the idea of marrying a man with a dark complexion, as opposed to 25% who would prefer a 'fair' groom.