Love Connector
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Sonya Angraini Read : 1435 Date : Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - 08:22:22

    Santirta Martendano for Forbes Indonesia

    When age is often considered to have limited the chances of finding a love partner, Zola Yoana, a matchmaker, sees differently. “Sometimes they are just not in the right time or the right place,” she says. In the spirit of helping people find love, Zola founded Heart Inc. in 2013. Although people are familiar with dating sites or classified ads in the newspapers, matchmaking is not yet considered a reliable business in Indonesia, especially one that requires high fees. “It is actually one of the oldest jobs in the world, but not many see matchmaking as a business opportunity,” says Zola, 31. 

    Through Heart Inc., matchmaking is no longer left to family and friends. It is not only more organized, but also more objective. “Family and friends are often very subjective because they don’t know what you really are looking for in a partner,” Zola explains. Prior to starting the business, Zola, whose passion has been in matchmaking since she was in high school, took a one-year course in New York to become a certified matchmaker. “We learn about integrity, relationships, role play, and dating,” she says. 

    Heart Inc. charges high fees. It offers two options of membership. The first is exclusive, in which a client will be introduced to a maximum of five candidate profiles, so they can choose two of these profiles for further arrangement. The fee is around $2,000. Second is a diamond membership, which is a one-year membership with unlimited candidate profiles. This type of membership also gets relationship coaching, image consultation and a one-time session with a dating coach. The fee for this service is around $3,000. 

    Candidates, Zola notes, are not clients. “Client are the ones who pay me. For candidates, I just keep the profiles for future references to my clients,” she says, adding that these candidates are aware that Heart Inc. has their profiles. As with clients, Zola also conducts an interview with each candidate to determine what they want in a relationship. Currently, Heart Inc. has around 450 candidates and 50 clients. Most of them are between 30 to 55 years old, either single or divorced, with women accounting for around 60%. They are usually middle-upper class and mostly work as professionals, and must be at least managerial level and entrepreneurs. Zola explains that to be a potential client, being secure financially is a must, so money will not become a problem in the future. 

    Zola is very selective in choosing her clients. “I don’t like demanding people because finding the right partner takes time,” she notes. Zola cannot guarantee that the clients will find their soul mate, but she can confirm that clients will not meet someone random. “At least they are a 70% match. The rest is chemistry,” she adds. Zola claims her success rate in matching the clients is around 80%. About ten of them are married and the rest are still in a relationship. Unlike other matchmakers overseas, Zola does not ask for extra fees if her clients get married. 

    To become a client, candidates must go through a screening process. People need to sign up on the website, and the team will arrange a meeting with Zola, who will ask them several questions to decide on their eligibility. “If they are qualified, then I will propose my service,” she says. Once deemed qualified, a potential client is required to fill an online form that expires in 14 days. After completing the form, the potential client will receive a contract to be signed.