Twenty nine-year-old Reema Kumar, a busy media professional, is dating a man she met on a blind date six months ago. Bubbling with joy, Reema says, “I zeroed in on him after talking to 12 other guys I met at an event, for six minutes each. I trusted Viraj's credentials as the agency that organised the event had already conducted a background check.”
Reema and Viraj were among 14 professionals who met over a ‘group’ date at a plush Mumbai restaurant. The date was arranged by Speedcoffee, a matchmaking company floated a year ago. Preparing for their sixth such event next month, the agency invites 7-12 women professionals with an equal number of male professionals, all unknown to each other.
After six minutes of interaction, the two people are asked to mark a card with a Yes or a No. Then, both shift to the next table, where they interact with yet another person, and so on. After the event, if any two people think they hit it off, the details of candidates are shared.
“It's like your friend trying to set you up. This event carries no risk, as we don’t share personal details of the candidates,” says Sandeep Shetty, the program director. All the applicants are screened for their professional qualifications, communication skills and overall personality, claims the agency. “However, although we verify education and job status, their relationship status is something which we can’t be sure of,” he adds.
Even middle-aged single professionals who are too busy to look for a partner while working hard to achieve their professional goals are giving this 'speed date' a thought, as it involves very little time and effort.
Three upcoming events are lined up in the city for three different age groups in December.
But are six minutes sufficient to know if a person is right for you? Rishabh Mansukhani, who met his partner through a speed date a year ago, says, “It is enough time to know if she’s NOT. Also, if you don’t like a person, you are not stuck with them the whole evening.”
(Some names changed)