When a website that thrives solely on the concept of extramarital alliances makes its way into a country where matrimonial sanctity is so highly regarded, one would imagine that finding enough takers to gain a footing into the market would be an arduous challenge. In a country like India, the sacredness of marriage is so deeply embedded into people’s consciousness that thousands of people even put up with abusive spouses. Considering this, it would clearly be difficult for such a website to establish itself in the country. But figures seem to suggest otherwise.
Gleeden, a premium dating portal for married people based out of France, has garnered a whopping 1,21,500 subscribers in India within a short span of its arrival in the domestic market. Of these, 75 per cent of users are men. A break-up of the subscribers reveals that the site has 90,300 male subscribers from India as opposed to 31,200 female users. The trend is intriguing as the portal is completely free for women to use whereas men have to pay a subscription fee with packages starting from Rs 700. The subscription packages are determined by the number of interactions a user indulges in and not the time spent on the site.
The extramarital dating portal is most popular in metropolitan cities, with Mumbai leading the way with highest traffic, followed by New Delhi and Bengaluru.
Gleeden: By women, for women
Image Credits- Gleeden
In an interview to Live Mint, manager and head of communications at Gleeden, Solène Paillet, said, “Because Gleeden is run by women, we think that women should not be paying for the service. We want the website to be women-friendly. Extramarital dating is a natural thing. When you are married for a few years, you need some excitement which people are now finding online.”
She went on to add that the website does not seek to interfere or belittle the institution of marriage in any way but intends to offer a secure space where the cloak of anonymity can give people the confidence to pursue affairs outside their marriages, if they so desire. “Most of the dating websites are for single people. It was inconvenient for married people to meet others since they had to find partners in some dark circles. The idea is to create a space where extramarital encounters are confidential and discreet,” she explained.
Finding inroads in India
Even though infidelity is considered taboo in Indian society, Gleeden’s entry into the Indian market has been one smooth ride. “In India, we had natural subscriptions without any sort of marketing or advertising. People were interested in the website. We are growing month on month here and now, we want to market the product,” Paillet said. The portal is now looking at a well-devised digital marketing and advertising campaign to tap on the full potential of the market.
Indians may still be using the website and the corresponding app primarily for ‘flirting’ but it is definitely a sign that more and more people are becoming open to the idea of adultery