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SikhNet Retires the SikhMatrimonials.com service after almost 24 years of service

One of the oldest services that I created on SikhNet.com was the SikhMatrimonials.com service....

One of the oldest services that I created on SikhNet.com was the SikhMatrimonials.com service. This was almost 24 years ago back in 1996. Before most people had started using the internet and before services like Shaadi.com and other Indian matrimonial services, there was the Sikh Matrimonials which was the first of it's kind.  I was 21 years old when I started this service and was unsure what Sikhs would think of a progressive service like this. Online dating and online matchmaking was unheard of in the Sikh community then.

Back in those days there were very few Sikh organizations in the USA that had a staff and regular and consistent work on serving different needs of the Sikh community. Mostly it was adhoc seva projects that people did here and there. Most people were focused on their careers, and parents definitely didn't look positively at the idea of taking a job in community service work in a non-profit org. You had to be a Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer.

To make things harder, many people were used to everything related to Sikhi being free, and it was a foreign concept to donate to money somewhere other than a Gurdwara. So in order to create support for SikhNet to cover the costs of operating this new service (SikhNet) the matrimonial service was born. It wasn't really about the money though either, since there was a real need for Sikhs (particularly Gursikhs) to find someone who shared their values.

Luckily it was very well received and I realized that while many people didn't want to give money for supporting religious causes and efforts like SikhNet (as donations), they WERE willing to pay money for love and marriage! 

Yesterday I made the decision to shut down the Sikh Matrimonial service. After many years of slow decline as our efforts were focused on other areas of SikhNet it was inevitable. For me it's a Bittersweet goodbye. 

For many years I have been holding on to the idea of recreating this service for the modern day, but was a huge project for us to take on in addition to all the services we run at SikhNet. It would require a significant investment to hire full time programmers, marketing people, customer service person, management etc. In this day an age it takes significant resources to run a service like this well. As a non-profit organization trying to compete with huge multi-million dollar matrimonial commercial companies based in India, it was an uphill struggle to stay competitive and keep going and evolving. 

For so many years SikhNet has added new services every year, yet not having the staff and resources to keep up with all of them. We know that we can't be everything for everyone and couldn't do it all. So have to make hard decisions like this. Other services like the Youth Online Film Festival, The Sikh Directory, Gurdwara Directory, Sikh Job Bank and many others, are services that we stopped operating in the past for similar reasons.  It's always a bit sad for me. The internet of the old days in the past was so much more innocent, simple and definitely a different.

Since the inception of Sikh Matrimonials it has helped thousands of Sikhs find a partner for life and we are super grateful to have been able to provide this service to so many Sikhs. The Sikh Matrimonials website will remain online for existing users for some months till it is fully taken offline later in the year. 

2020 is a time for us to focus in on what SikhNet does best, and to not just do good...but do great. I'm looking forward to this new year as we work together to take SikhNet to the next level.  

Thank you for being a part of the SikhNet Sangat and for being a huge part of what it is today. 

Much love from all of us at SikhNet

Gurumustuk Singh
CEO and Founder of SikhNet.com

P.S. Special thanks and acknowledgement to Loveleen Kaur who supported her mother and sister all through college working at SikhNet and Sikh Matrimonials late into the night after school in Chandigarh. Then before she graduated and went for further schooling in the USA she trained her (then) little sister Priya to take over the job, who then continued to do the same working nights after school to help support her family while working at SikhNet from home. I appreciate their dedication and hard work at sikhnet, as well as being mature at such a young age to help their family while they both went through school. 

Loveleen Kaur now works as a cyber security expert in the USA and Priya recently started working for a non profit organization in Mumbai India as a counselor for women and children that have been abused and in relation to sex trafficking. 

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