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According to Kumar, people in India want "more choice in their matchmaking decisions, but don't want to tell people - particularly their parents - that they are registered on dating websites." An online-offline hybrid That's why sites like Sirf Coffee and the others try to sell the idea of a mediated experience, instead of online dating.

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Sirf Coffee also interviews clients in person, and Hiranandani says that if a client can not come for a personal meeting, then they arrange a Skype interview.

According to him, "the purpose of the interview is to ensure we are bringing on board a 'matchable' client.

"We ensure a pressure-free environment where you can be yourself, deriving comfort from the fact that you and date tick each other's boxes," adds Hiranandani.

"You can exchange numbers if you like, date for years, get married next week, or simply leave after a casual drink.

The site then matches profiles of people based on who they are, what they are looking for, instead of traditional matches based on caste or location." A site that caters to both Indians and NRIs, Sirf Coffee has a similar approach, and takes care not to identify itself as an online-dating service. Footloose No More claims to have 5,000 members, mostly from Mumbai and Pune; Delhi and Kolkata follow, and then Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Its focus is on using the Internet to make it easier to meet people - offline. Truly Madly claims similar numbers, while Sirf Coffee, which has a much higher cost of entry, claims to have around 1,100 members, of which around half are in India (mostly Mumbai again) and the rest are NRIs.

(Also see: Beyond the norm: Matrimony sites that focus on small groups reap big benefits) Varsha Agnihotri came up with the idea of starting Footloose No More four years ago, when she was at a Holi party.

The idea of a website that would allow "modern, urban Indians" to choose their own partners and go from dating to perhaps matrimony at their own comfortable pace seemed worth doing.

The site matches you, and brings you together at the "curated" events, so there is no "awkwardness or stigma".

Agnihotri says these events help people come out of their shell, but allow them to take things forward at their own pace.

"The whole idea is to get more and more people involved and remove this fear and stigma associated with online dating," says Kumar.