Her designation instantly evokes all kinds of reactions. And that is only natural as Taru Kapoor is the India head of Tinder.
When she walks in for a meet, after an early morning flight from Delhi, you could easily dismiss her as the girl next door. Taru is comfortably clad in a kurti, with jeans and sneakers. But behind that simple exterior, lies a razor sharp mind. It should come as no surprise as Taru graduated last year from the Harvard Business School, after an IIT Delhi degree.
How did Tinder happen? “Serendipity,” she says adding, “After my business school graduation, I came back to India last year. I felt it was an exciting time to be in the country. There is so much going on. I was exploring my options and chatting with my friends, when this offer came my way and I took it up.”
Taru is now accustomed to “all kinds of interesting reactions”. She is constantly hounded with requests for possible dates. “People think I have access to the data base. But that is not the case. I can only guide them in terms of how they can make their profile interesting,” she sounds amused adding, “It makes me feel old keeping up with youngsters as the market is constantly evolving.”
The general criticism against most dating sites in India, including Tinder, is that there a lot of desperate married people prowling around. Many single men and women are naturally turned off by such blatant moves. Taru is quick with her defense, “The number of married people is miniscule on the site. Our data base largely comprises singletons in the 18-27 age groups. But having said that, there are a lot of married people, who may have moved to new cities and just looking for friendship.”
You persist and tell her that the app continues to be identified as a hook up site and Taru insists it’s a problem of perception. “You will hear innumerable stories. Indian society is still relatively conservative and such labels do not include the vast majority of users. There is no algorithm for chemistry. There have even been instances of people connecting and even getting married. We keep getting wedding invites and that is the best kind of validation,” she adds.
And while the most obvious assumption would be that Taru met her husband on Tinder. But that would be an incorrect analysis. Taru did not meet her husband, Rajat Sahni, (CEO — Used cars, CarDekho.com) on any dating app. Theirs was a pre-tinder romance. “He was my senior at college in IIT. Several years back I used to write a blog and we both agreed and disagreed on a lot of things. I got married just before I left for Harvard,” So typically what kind of reactions does her husband get? “There are many colleagues in his office who use Tinder and he is accustomed to varied reactions,” she says rather dismissively
Taru however, believes in going with the flow, “as long as you are learning and having fun.” And when she is not checking out Tinder, she enjoys a good book or chilling with friends, some of whom she claims to have met on the dating site.
“I use the app when I am travelling abroad, especially in London or LA and have made some great friends. I don’t travel so much in India on work but I swipe online in different cities and the conversation varies with each location.” Really, you just can’t take Tinder out of this girl!