NRI grooms no longer in demand

The charm of the NRI groom is fading in the marriage market as overseas economies continue to be unstable.

Indian brides, it seems, are paying attention to what the song, "Pardesiyon Se Naa Ankhiyaan Milana", preaches. Girls from NRI families too, are humming "Yeh Mera India". It's India shining for both when it comes to seeking life partners, as Indian and NRI girls want matches in India.

Now, while 50% of Indians as well as NRIs discreetly mention in their wedding profiles on matchmaking portals that they are not interested in an NRI match, the remaining 50% don't put 'NRI' as even one of the options in the preferences.

Gourav Rakshit from a wedding portal says, "During recession in 2008 and 2009, 60% of the people registering on our portal mentioned 'no NRI grooms'. In 2011, after America was stripped of its AAA rating and many NRIs returned home looking for jobs, this year too, 50% have mentioned they don't want NRI grooms." Rakshit adds that things have gotten worse as even NRI girls are now looking for India-based grooms. "Many NRI families seeking a match for their daughters too have mentioned they don't want an NRI groom," he says.

Faced with declining salaries and job cuts, an increasing number of NRIs is moving to India. The Doshi family in New Jersey is one such. Their daughter, Hetal, who is married to an IT professional, recently shifted to India after her husband lost his job. Her parents have now decided to look for an Indian groom for their younger daughter, Shikha. Her father, Jigen Doshi, told us, "Many NRIs are shifting to India. Western economies are unstable."

Murugavel Janakiraman, founder and CEO of another wedding portal, says, "With the Indian economy booming, Indian grooms are looking as attractive as the NRI ones. Indian brides are realising that professionals in India are as smart, qualified and well-paid as their NRI counterparts."

Says Anushree Pal, who is looking for a groom for her 26-year-old daughter, "After 9/11 and other terror attacks around the world, there have been so many reports where Indians have not been treated well. I don't want that to be the case with my daughter. Also, we have everything here now - from top brands to supermarkets. My daughter will have it all, so why go for an NRI?"

For research analyst Preeti Vats*, 26, India is where the heart is. "Given the recession that's hit the foreign market, my parents haven't looked for a match outside India. India is progressing at an amazing rate - we have everything here, including our families." Says Suggandha Mehrotra, 26, 'I would rather marry a desi because they are a safer bet. There are fewer chances of them being handed the pink slip."