5.5 The Lakshimi Modern Marriage Bureau - "tradition plus"
The Hindu Goddess Lakshimi represents an extraordinarily broad range of virtues: prosperity, good fortune, wisdom, fertility, generosity and courage. She embodies beauty, grace and charm.
The oil painting of her above was done in 1896 by Raja Ravi Varma (1848 - 1906), one of the greatest painters in the history of India. She is typically depicted with two elephants (sometimes four), which symbolize her royal power.
The Lakshimi Modern Marriage Bureau helps arrange marriages in major Indian cities such as Mumbai for highly educated candidates where the desired role of the woman is one that reflects her university degrees and her career aspirations.
- respecting tradition, responding to change -
the “tradition plus” RR approach
• Respect Ritual – tradition
• Raise Requirements - higher expectations
• Reverse Research - our distinct search process
• Results Remuneration – performance based fees
• Restricted Recruitment – limited clientele
• Relationship Repair - guidance and mediation
• Resource Referrals – other possibilities
• Recreational Reading - just for fun
Premium services for a select few are offered and Lakshmi charges accordingly, with the highest fees in the industry. ("If you locate a marriage broker with higher fees, please let us know, so that we can raise our fees immediately.") However the majority of these fees is on a results basis and due if, and only if, a marriage is consummated. These services include a completely confidential crisis service when a marriage is time critical: the accelerated marital program (AMP).
Respecting Ritual - tradition
Romantic marriages are all well and good in the movies, and some people do actually win a lottery, but the “American way of life” for marriage is a travesty. Just ask any of the myriad attorneys in the U.S. who build their entire practice on ruthless divorce litigation!
Lakshmi respects tradition. Some of the modern generation view traditional values with skepticism. There are even young women who factiously maintain that the traditional role of the wife consists of the on demand Fabulous Four: cook & clean, sex & breed”, or, as the American redneck would say, “Keep the wife barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, where she belongs.” That attitude reflects an obviously ungrateful, disobedient and fresh daughter. She should be severely chastised. That having been stated, the fact remains that the role of the woman changed dramatically in the 20th century worldwide. The pace of that change is accelerating in the 21st century, in part due to social media. India is not immune from this development.
Raising Requirements – higher expectations
Real Alpha leaders put together teams of A+ players. They want to be surrounded by those who are even better than they are. Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard his freshman year to found Microsoft, is a case in point. He wound up hiring hundreds of PhDs, many thousands of people better educated than he is. B leaders put together a team of B- and C players – so that their dominant role is secure, unlikely to be challenged.
Similarly, in choosing a spouse, the really strong individual will tend towards selecting an A+ candidate. The movie star actress with astronomical earnings is more likely to have a good marriage when she proudly introduces “my husband, the Hollywood director,” than if she refers to him as the “unfortunately unemployed extra and former studio janitor.”
Similarly there are men who proudly introduce “my wife, the surgeon,” “my wife, the professor,” “my wife, the attorney,” “my wife, the bestselling author,” “my wife, the CEO/Managing Director of. . .” as opposed to “my wife, the homemaker.” The attitude of such men is that having a career woman as a partner in life entails a different, richer kind of relationship than one where the woman’s responsibility and contribution are purely domestic, limited to “home and hearth.”
The market niche Laksmi focuses on is precisely the one mentioned above, the one where the woman has an extended role, “traditional plus.”
Reverse Research - a distinct search process
Lakshmi seeks to combine aspects of a modern orientation, including the use of technology, in pursuit of traditional goals – creating a stable extended family and proper environment for raising the children, the next generation. Finding a partner in life is, in business terminology, an exercise in marketing.
The traditional arranged marriage approach is for the family to invest serious time and effort (not to mention money) to pre-select a suitable candidate. This investment may entail a hundred man-hours of labor or even more. This candidate is then introduced to the intended.
Horoscopes, background checks and scrutiny notwithstanding, sometimes people just do not like one another. That lack of mutual interest is very often determined quickly, in less than five hours – sometimes in less than five minutes! All that initial work, all for naught, five minutes into the very first meeting, what a colossal waste of time and effort.
We submit that this method is not efficient – that it is putting the cart before the horse. There is a better way. Let the intended inspect a reasonable number of as yet unscreened candidates – looking at a write-up and photograph. Then the intended has some introductory communication with those who appear possible. Now the list of candidates who have superficially the right qualifications (academic, social, appearance) has been reduced to a manageable short list of, say, three to five individuals.
These can then carefully be vetted and the two or three best of them formally introduced to the intended – in full confidence that “instant mutual antipathy” will not occur. The point of departure before the screening was a mutual positive personal impression. After several meetings the man and woman will determine if that initial first impression is deepening and appears to be the basis for forming a family.
Results Remuneration - performance based fees
A premium full range service includes a background check and, as appropriate, financial due diligence.
Restricted Recruitment – limited clientele
The business model implies restrictions based on one's education and achievement. A respect for tradition per force entails acknowledgement of caste realities.
Relationship Repair - guidance and mediation
A strategic alliance could be formed with a religious organization, a psychiatrist, or other repected professional who helps troubled marriages.
Resource Referrals – other possibilities
Recreational Reading – just for fun
Marketing, 1st Steps
The fee structure of marriage brokers in general and specifically for the initial city, say Mumbai, need to be researched. One needs to discover exactly what the esteemed and honorable customers actually get for their money. One approach for billing is for a retainer to be paid, and the large performance fee placed in escrow. Upon a marriage, the funds in escrow are released to Lakshimi. One can also offer on-line services, perhaps on a subscription basis.
*© Lakshimi painting at Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Gujarat, India Photograph, public domain, www.dollsofindia.com 31.01.2011; Gayan Web Design 2010