We are on the 29th floor of her palatial penthouse in Monaco, waiting to watch the Grand-Prix race. The noise and glamour of the European elite were spread througout the city of French reverie. Amidst all this activity I wished to spend some quiet momets with her and she encouraged me to ask her out for coffee. Because of the need to take care of her clients she had very limited time for me.
I wished to go to the Ethiopian coffee boutique where the grinding and roasting of the coffee beans by the barista amused me, and she wanted to sit outside by the pool. Once there she wanted a strawberry shake and an extra cream latte. She was still distracted because of a problem with one of her clients, a French racecar champion, and trying to find a perfect match for him. After an introductory conversation, I explained my situation to her. She had a straightforward reply, she said: “Dear you are too young”. But I will explain my fees to you anyway.
Strangely, I did not mind the fees, but questioning my age left me annoyed?
Long ago, I heard the Jewish songs about traditions and matchmakers in the movie “Fiddler On the Roof”..
Make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch
Look through your book, and make me a perfect match
I'll bring the veil, you bring the groom,
Slender and pale. Bring me a ring for I'm longing to be,
The envy of all I see.
Make him a scholar.
Make him rich as a king.
For me, well,
I wouldn't holler
If he were as handsome as anything.
Here she was, the matchmaker of the royals, fixing up the elite, interlinking the princes from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa), and connecting Indian businessmen with classy divas.
Having the experience of playing cupid across Europe, Angelika Lancsak launched herself recently into the Indian market. So what brings Angelika to India? A land where relationships are” made in heaven” but still divorce rates are high. Too bogged down with Parsi patriarchs , kangaroo courts of khap Panchayats, child marriages and Satis. Isn’t it turning out to be a complicated situation for her?
Excerpts from our interview with her...
Q. So, Matchmaking, relationship brokerage, how tough is that. Why did you land up here?
It is a tough work, a challenging work, a social work, a satisfying work. I was in Switzerland / 1996, hanging out with bankers & co. and realized that those accomplished people with the typical Swiss spirit have no access to outstanding female mates. Therefore, I decided to explore the market of matchmaking! It was an idea I had – and I was good enough to be successful.
Q. Your job demands travelling, connecting with people, understanding the cultures and holding the values. Is it really complex/ how you localize thoughts?
Yes it is complex. I have to understand the culture and the values. If I don’t move – I can’t learn – I can’t develop my attitude - which results in excellent work: Expect excellence – that’s my line.
Q. Classic differentiation between, US, European, Arabs and Indian over their previews, wants, expectations from the relationships?
Certainly some societies are more closer than others eg. the Arab and Indian society…but the world wide web & social media have done a lot in opening up the minds of the so called *cosmocrats* (a prosperous business school graduate benefiting from globalization and living the global lifestyle./Wiktionary.org) who are a big part of my clientele. At the end they all are human beings - hailing back to planet earth - seeking the same: A stable relationship where they might find warmth, love, respect and an emotional home.
Q You have been generating some good business from gulf countries. Any specific reasons?
I simply love the orient. The occident has experienced great wisdom from the orient in earlier centuries and I think both sides can *win-win* in mingling and learning from each other. I continually build mental models of this situation – and I enlarge the model to encompass more factors!
Q. India! I remember you explaining me, some Indian businessmen are liars. How come?
Haha! Maybe related to one Indian investment banker who told me a *1001 nights* collection of stories where the fee / payment has disappeared to! Hilarious! Well if you look at those High Court *issues* a good amount of Indian businessmen has - you get some ideas don’t you?
Q. And how long in the affinity of love does marriage stands? You know the customs here, so live in relations might not work because of their public image, will you still work with them?
My goal is to bring people together for the purpose of marriage. „Live-in relations“have a bad image all over the world. Even in Europe it is kind of „just accepted“in good families. A man who respects a woman – will propose in any case! I want them to get married - definitely! Weddings are big fun!
Q. Twenty years down the line. What updates are you expecting in the dating scenario around the world?
To be honest – family is the most precious asset in a human’s life. We all are social beings. Certainly, people will *go global* - will marry different cultures – will have to learn a lot – will become masters of those challenges – or fail! That’s life!
Q. What legacy you hope to leave around.
I have been hit by the talent to read people in a few seconds and to match those who are *made for each other*. I think it is my *dharma* to do that – highly influenced by my Yoga practice of about 20 years –being on this path you develop your talents even more. I come from a wealthy family, got an excellent education and started with all advantages in life. It is not satisfying to live a comfortable life. One has to leave the comfort-zone, seeking challenges and go for those. We can make ourselves what we will. And - it gives inner peace to help others. Om tat sat.
Isn’t it strange that the people at the height of material achievement and world leaders in business, at the end of the day, they realize the importance of family, love and relationships. Aren’t we lucky enough to have learned these values early in life! I thought I would argue with her on the importance of family in our lives. However, she herself is dedicated to these same values. The readers of this magazine are the youth who are in a very critical stages of their lives, having big dreams and big ambitions, with a need to excel! The extreme pressure to excel may lead them to take shortcuts, and this may lead them to make bad choices that could cause problems for themselves and their loved ones. So, ponder on these thoughts and ask yourself how much do your values matter to you. Good luck!
**This interview has been published in *21 Fools* – a magazine for young intellectual Indians**