Upscale Matchmaking for Indian Singles03.30.2014
Markets Media recently had an up, close and personal with Jasbina Ahluwalia, founder of Intersections Match by Jasbina who shared her perspective on matchmaking and more!
As a former practicing lawyer holding a graduate degree in philosophy, Jasbina can relate first-hand to the demands and challenges facing her accomplished clients. Having found her special someone, Jasbina can also relate first-hand to the challenge of juggling professional, social, and personal demands. Jasbina’s first-hand experience motivated her to create a premium service which could be effectively leveraged by selective professionals wishing to focus on finding that special someone, while at the same time maintaining demanding schedules.
As a second-generation Indian-American, Jasbina has a unique understanding of the successful blending of Indian and American cultures. Previously Jasbina practiced law in San Francisco and Chicago. Jasbina has a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Markets Media: Thank you Jasbina for your time. To begin with – tell us a bit about your mission objective?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: First of all let me thank Markets Media and your team’s support. We are the Only North-America Wide Premier Full-Service Selective Search & Dating / Relationship Coaching Firm – For Indian Singles. However, the mission of Intersections Match is broader – it includes Thought Leadership and spearheading a dialogue on relationships and health and wellness – each of which contribute to meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Markets Media: What difficulties have you encountered while setting up Intersections Match? Would you give any advice for would-be entrepreneurs?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: First and foremost, identify something you enjoy doing that feeds your soul, and then figure out how to provide value to others by doing it.
Another suggestion is that young and aspiring entrepreneurs be vigilant regarding allowing financial pressures to compromise delivery of a service or product that they are proud to stand by. From the very beginning, it has been important to me to have the freedom to work only with clients to whose lives we could add value.
One of the best business decisions I ever made is one I would highly recommend to entrepreneurs, before embarking on your entrepreneurial venture, have your finances in such a shape (via savings, funding, etc) that you can focus your efforts on developing a service or product of the highest quality.
Markets Media: What is the uniqueness of Intersections Match’s work?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Firstly, we are not an online service. Intersections Match is the only North-America Wide Premier Full-Service Selective Search & Dating / Relationship Coaching Firm – For Indian Singles.
The service provided by our company differs from traditional online dating, as it involves a highly-personalized, consultative and feedback-centric process. Before a client meets any matches, I seek to understand client’s particular needs, wants, values, priorities, lifestyle, personality and background through an extensive and interactive personal consultation. Intersections’ is specifically designed to take over time-consuming task of screening so that our clients are able to strategically spend their limited time focusing on matches with real potential.
Matches come from our exclusive “Search Plan” client base; our pool of stand-alone “Personal Consultees”; our “Register For Free Database”; events we and our nationwide scouts attend throughout the country; our relationships with matchmakers throughout the country; customized personal ads we run in various upscale publications throughout the country; as well as our everyday lives (including various professional, cultural, social and charitable organizations). Each match is prescreened, and a criminal background check is run, before introductions are made.
Markets Media : What has the response been so far?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: There has been an overwhelming response from single Indian-American men and women of all ages throughout the United States & Canada.
Markets Media: What are your nationwide resources and annual growth statistics?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Our year on year growth projections are 200 to 300 percent. We have extensive outreach resources – scouts across the US & Canada – including the San Francisco/Bay Area, Washington DC, Boston, Denver, NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago & Toronto, Canada.
The scouts work in various fields, including as lawyers, doctors, graduate students, engineers. In their free time the scouts assist us with our searches on behalf of clients in different ways, including hosting mixers, attending social events in their respective cities and canvassing their personal and professional circles for matches for our clients.
Markets Media: How did you face the downturn?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Interestingly, we grew during the downturn. When the economy takes a nosedive, it often causes people to look inward and evaluate family or personal relationships. We have found that during this time of economic uncertainty, people feel a lack of control over their financial situations. As such, many people are looking internally and identifying which areas of their lives they can exert some level of control by being proactive. For those who feel the lack of a partner in their lives, becoming proactive in this area becomes important (especially because it is comforting to have a partner with whom to weather economic storms).
Markets Media: Tell us about a major achievement of your organization?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Well, establishing a model supportive of responsible nationwide growth at an early stage.
Markets Media: Do you ever feel like giving up?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Never. This is a passion – something that runs in my blood.
Markets Media: Did you experience any notable thinking approaches?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Our biggest challenge has been to educate the Indian-American community that investment of time, energy and money in the process of finding the right partner is of far greater long-term impact than focusing exclusively on expenditure on engagements and weddings.
Markets Media: Tell us a bit about your Personal Brand – Did it experience any change with progress of your career and role?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: My former role as a lawyer on the one hand, and my current role as a relationship expert, matchmaker and radio show host on the other, have both involved advising people to add value and cause a positive change in society.
Given that the advisory aspect was integral to my value proposition as a lawyer, and is integral to my current roles, to some extent my personal brand has remained consistent in these seemingly disparate roles.
My personal brand in both my previous and current roles reflect, trust in my sense of discerning judgment, ability to actively listen and spot potential issues, and a commitment to stay updated on research findings, perspectives and novel ways of thinking, and trends in the industry. The overarching umbrella is authenticity and trustworthiness.
Markets Media: What impact did Social Media (SM) have on your business expansion?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: The Social Media sites have given a big boost to our business. You know everything is interconnected and available online.
In our experience, social media can be a great tool for constructively developing a personal brand, and like all tools if not wielded with discretion can also destructively dilute the brand.
We have an active presence on Facebook. Considering the size and demographics of our FB community, many wish to bring their events to the notice of our community.
We remain vigilant to protect our brand from dilution. We only share with our FB community events which we believe are consistent with our premium brand positioning and, most importantly, of some value to our community.
For example, when it was specially requested of us that we share with our community an upscale Silicon Valley discussion and networking focused event featuring award-winning journalists, scholars, politicians; and venture capitalists, we happily did so. On the other hand, we declined to promote an online dating site’s mass mixer event.
Intersections Match has anchored value-add tele-conferences on relationships and social dynamics for various communities, where the invites were sent to FB community and people could participate in the discussion from anywhere as long as they could call in.
Markets Media: Your affiliations?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: I’m a member of the Professional Matchmakers Association (PMA), Licensed with the State Bars of California and Illinois, MENSA, India Business Network and Ladies Who Launch
Markets Media: What conferences and panels have you participated in so far?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: I am the host of Intersection Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show – a monthly holistic lifestyle show, focused on our continual evolution into the best versions of our authentic selves – conversations with published authors and experts on relationships and health and wellness. Distinguished guests include New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Greenwald and Lori Gottlieb and Star of Bravo TV show, THINTERVENTION – Jackie Warner.
I also host a monthly radio show for NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals): NetIP Spotlight – Live Your Potential.
We have received worldwide press including in Business Week, Chicago Tribune, Entrepreneur Magazine, San Jose Mercury News, Live TV and radio.
I was one of the finalists in OPRAHS search for a new TV Host.
I have also moderated or participated on panels at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Northwestern & Columbia.
Markets Media: What are your future plans?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: We are currently operating North-America Wide (U.S. & Canada) – given inquiries we have received from abroad (including Europe and Asia), the global world we now live in, as well as demand from certain of our clients who travel extensively and are open to meeting potential partners abroad, we shall explore the possibility of overseas expansion in the future.
We want to continue to increase the number of avenues to further the mission of Intersections, which is holistic and broader than personalized introductions and includes Thought Leadership and spearheading a dialogue in the Indian-American Community on relationships and health and wellness – each of which contribute to meaningful and fulfilling lives.
Markets Media: Your message for The Markets Media readers?
Jasbina Ahluwalia: Appreciate this opportunity – thanks.
Markets Media:Thank you Jasbina.
Jasbina Ahluwalia is an attorney turned entrepreneur, happily married, second-generation, Indian-American Relationship Expert, Matchmaker and Radio Show Host.
Jasbina founded Intersections Match, the Only Premier Full-Service Selective Search & Dating / Relationship Coaching Firm – For Indian Singles.
Oprah finalist: Jasbina was one of the finalists in OPRAHS search for a new TV Host.
Worldwide Press: She has received worldwide press including in Business Week, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., San Jose Mercury News, TV & Radio.
Relationship Columns: Jasbina serves as a Relationship Expert in publications and online forums throughout North America, including YourTango, Lavalife.com, India Currents (CA), Bibi Magazine (NYC), India West (CA), Desi Club (U.S.), Lights Camera Action (TX), Desi Express (Atlanta) & Oye! Times (Canada).
Relationship Q&As: Jasbina has anchored relationship Q&As for organizations, including Cornell India Association, NetIP, Indus Women Leaders, AAPI, India Community Center (Silicon Valley) & Indo-American Arts Council.
Panels: She has also moderated/participated on panels at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Northwestern & Columbia.
Education: Jasbina previously practiced law in San Francisco and Chicago. She earned her B.A/M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and JD from the University of Michigan Law School.
Full Disclosure: Mademoiselle Wanderlust is an ambassador for Intersections Match.
Featured image via iStock
Mademoiselle Wanderlust is a regular contributor to the Markets Media Life section.