Jasbina Ahluwalia is founder of Intersections Matchmaking.
After 10 years as a lawyer, Ahluwalia, who was transfixed about the idea of entering the matchmaking business for several years, decided to take the plunge in 2007 by starting the Palo Alto-based Intersections Matchmaking.
The company, which targets South Asians, typically has fewer than a hundred clients at a given time, making it manageable for her to become personally involved with each client's matchmaking process. Intersections operates in a two-step process.
First, Ahulwalia meets face-to-face for a private consultation with clients within proximity to Palo Alto, and alternatively, over the phone with those who are not — the aim of which is to help set clients' priorities in line with respect to desirable companionship traits in others. Clients are able to use Ahulwalia as a sounding board during this phase since she believes it is easier for someone else to define and pinpoint what is most important to an individual client, than for an individual to sort through the process alone. It is a means of allowing clients an active participation in their own dating process, said Ahulwalia. Ahulwalia also attempts to ensure that everyone who seeks her services is able to articulate the kind of person they would like to meet, as opposed to having friends' or familial expectations muddy the process, which she admits can happen more frequently within the South Asian culture than American culture.
Intersections Matchmaking dispatches a group of eight employees, called scouts, who move about the United States, individually, in search of potential additions to Intersections' dating pool. When such an appropriate match is found, he or she is then directed for a pre-screening with Ahulwalia, similar to the consultation meted out with other clients.
Prior to her career switch into matchmaking, Ahluwalia worked for three law firms over 10 years: Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold; Wilson Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker; and Hanson Peters Nye. Ahulwalia earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1995. Ahulwalia has a bachelor's and master's degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University.