Courtesy of Netflix
Since Netflix's series Indian Matchmaking premiered in 2020, cameras have followed series' star and longtime matchmaker Sima Taparia as she guides her clients in the arranged marriage process.
For the last 17 years, the mom of two has worked full time introducing romantic hopefuls and is responsible for roughly 150 successful marriages around the world.
Below, Mumbai's premier matchmaker speaks to PEOPLE exclusively about how she got her start in the business, her top tips for people who are looking for a partner and how much her services will cost you.
PEOPLE: How did you meet your husband, Anup Taparia?
SIMA TAPARIA: My marriage to my husband Anup was arranged. We were married on May 24th, 1983, and we have been together for 39 years. He is my rock, my biggest supporter.
The eldest of your two daughters is married — did you help her find her husband?
I did work for a while to find her someone but as they say, a doctor cannot treat herself! She ended up marrying someone she met through her friend group. We are blessed with a wonderful son-in-law and now a beautiful granddaughter!
Did you always want to be a matchmaker?
Since childhood, I have always had a passion for meeting people and traveling the world. At first, I thought I would be an air hostess, but after I matched my own sister 25 years ago, people suggested I do this professionally. Matchmaking has been my full-time profession since 2005.
How did the show come about?
I met Indian Matchmaking creator and executive producer Smriti Mundhra when she came to me as a client years ago. She then made a documentary called A Suitable Girl, which followed my daughter and two other young women in India on the journey to marriage. During that time of filming, Smriti and I spent a lot of time together. After this film won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival, Smriti pitched the idea for Indian Matchmaking to Netflix and the rest is history.
Do your services span the globe?
I have clients in countries all over the world where major Indian communities are present: India, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Singapore and Australia, to name a few!
What is the key to being a successful matchmaker?
One must enjoy socializing, be unafraid to talk to strangers and have a great memory. People would say I am like a human computer because I can remember people after meeting them once and can keep track of which families had a boy or a girl [who is] ready for marriage.
What are your top three tips for people looking for a partner?
Have patience, be willing to compromise on unimportant things, and remember that you're looking for a window, not a mirror. You want someone who is going to broaden your horizons, not be the same as you.
Did your business expand after the show premiered?
Yes! I received thousands of inquiries after season one and season two launched on Netflix. I wish I could take on everybody as a client, but I do the best I can and am working hard to satisfy their needs. My phone never stops ringing – I had to switch cell phone numbers at one point!
How many marriages have you helped arrange?
Since 2005, I have been responsible for approximately 150 successful marriages.
How much do your services cost?
I quote my clients when they are serious about pursuing a partner. My rates vary according to several factors: where the client lives, how long I work for them and whether or not I am successful in finding them their match. But I never turn a client away because of money. If I can help someone find their life partner, sometimes the good karma is payment enough.
Courtesy of Netflix Sima Taparia in Indian Matchmaking
Do you get recognized everywhere you go?
Yes, it's crazy and something I'm still getting used to. Everyone around the world seems to know Sima from Mumbai! On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I was stopped by so many fans in the airport. People told me they had already binged all of season two which had launched just days earlier. They are loving the show, which makes me happy.
What do you enjoy most about fame?
I have always wanted love and respect from the world, which I have received from Indian Matchmaking, and fame is simply a byproduct. I love helping people find their partners — that is what brings me the most joy.
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Indian Matchmaking is streaming now on Netflix.