Looking for a job, accommodation or a marriage alliance? Forget the classifieds. A group called ‘Friends@googlegroups.com’ is giving a tough fight to the existing portals which help to accommodation, jobs and fixmarriages — by simply circulating mails not unlike viral marketing.
Started a few months ago, the group grew to 10 members in the first week itself. Today, it hosts over a lakh members. Thanks to this group, more than 40 people have found a job some of which are foreign assignments and more than 20 marriages have taken place.
The high success rate has ensured that the numbers grow exponentially every month. Take the example of Vijay Shah a freelance photographer who was looking for a suitable match. One day, Shah chanced upon the details of prospective brides in Mumbai, Surat and Hyderabad in an email he received from a group of which he was a member. Finally, he decided on a girl from within the list, and is happily married today.
When Tanuja Karnik, a marketing executive from Mumbai was transferred to Ahmedabad she began hunting for a paying guest (PG) accommodation in the city. Surprisingly, Karnik found that her email-box provided her with an ideal location.
“I did not have to scan through a myriad of local newspapers or log on to websites. The location came with a reference and this sealed the deal for me,” she says.
To become a part of this group, all one has to do is send a mail to register on the address listed on the homepage. Messages meant for posting/circulation are forwarded to the members.
These are screened and only the useful ones are circulated. This is done to restrict the number of mails each member gets. The idea is to exchange mails relating to jobs (both available and required), matrimonials, healthcare, accommodation and others for free.
The best part is, once a member’s purpose is solved, he or she can send a request to cancel their membership to the group, which will then cease to send him or her any more mails. But the success of this group has ensured that many people don’t leave it.
Vijay Sharma, a head hunter, subscribed to the Friends@googlegroups mails to catch what he calls ‘educated talent’. He says, “There are many people in this group. I get in touch with those who fill my criteria and then forward their CVs to the people concerned. This mail service works as a two-way process.”
The most active members on the group are NRIs. The group provides them with a platform to find accommodation, jobs and marriage alliances—that too with references. Ajay M, a software engineer based in Sydeny, used the group to look for cheap accommodation when he visited Mumbai for a few weeks. “The idea is to make full use of a service that can help make our collective lives much easier,” he says.