Are you an IITian looking for some quality time, as a welcome break from the drudgery of studies? Or, put differently: Are you looking to date none else but the brilliant IIT-types?
If the answers are Yes, help is at hand – or, rather, a mouse. Three Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, engineers have come up with a first-of-its-kind dating platform, called dateiitians.com. The brainchild of Layak Singh, Kinshuk Bairagi and Nikhil Kaushik, the website says it “attempts to connect IITians with non-IITians through a social networking medium”.
The objective of the website, however, is far more ambitious than just “connect”. The first stage is the ‘buddy’ request. Once that is accepted, comes the ‘flirt’ request, with facilities like sending virtual gifts and customised messages. Once a registered user crosses that stage, you get access to the ‘crush’ request. If that is also confirmed by the intended recipient, you move on to the final stage – called ‘proposal’. If the ‘proposal’ isn’t accepted – you can still send similar proposals to another person after five days.
With a new version of the site coming in August, users would also be able to avail many “premium” services, such as 3D chat, on the portal. Set up a few months earlier, the site has a little over 10,000 registered users, 40 per cent of whom are IIT and IIM students, current and former. The rest are students from NITs, medical colleges and other engineering colleges.
The website developers are now spreading the net wider. An international version of the site, called cogxio.com, targeting global universities, is expected to be launched in the next few weeks.
- A full version of the site is due for an August launch. Users will be able to avail of ‘premium’ services such as 3D chat
- At present, the site has 10,000 registered users, 40 per cent of whom are former and current IIT and IIM students
- An international version of the site, cogxio.com , targeting global universities is expected to be launched in few weeks
- A scanned copy of the PAN card or school/office ID has to be submitted to restrict creation of fake profiles
- One can upload pictures, status messages, write testimonials, send messages and create albums
- Site revenues are generated through its gifting services and advertising on the site
“IITians are considered the most techies, geeks and nerds in India, so our aim was to connect IITians to others, so that both can interact with each other,” said Layak Singh, co-founder of the site. About 30-35 per cent users are females, he says.
The first step, the registration process, has various steps. After an email verification and a mobile number verification, the personal identity is also verified. To restrict creation of fake profiles, one needs to send a scanned copy of the taxpayer PAN card or school/office ID. Only after the details are verified is the account activated, in the next 24 hours.
Once registration is complete, it works like a social networking site. One can upload pictures, put up status messages, write testimonials and send private messages. Chat options are available and comment on status updates.
The portal has tie-ups with a few service providers, wherein one can buy real gifts. In progressing from one stage to the other, a user can collect points which can later be exchanged for real gifts from the portal.
It generates revenue through gifting services and advertising options. “The present portal is only 20 per cent of what the final version in August will offer. The new version will have more interaction options. However, the process of verification will also get stricter,” said Singh.
He added the portal would look for funding after the new version was launched. “People in this country fear dating. If we are able to remove that fear, our job is done,” he said.