Heart Inc: Matching Up to Love in Indonesia

Heart Inc is a leading matchmaking company in Indonesia and was founded by Zola Yoana, Indonesia’s only certified matchmaker. Established in 2013, Heart Inc provides exclusive, high-end matchmaking for Jakarta’s busy professionals looking for serious and committed relationships. 

What was the reason for starting Heart Inc? What’s your background?

My background actually isn’t in matchmaking, it’s in International Relations. I took a course for Matchmaking at the Matchmaking Institute in New York and I learned a lot about how to set up a business, integrating what the love industry is, with role-playing, etc., and after I returned to Jakarta, I founded my company.

What’s the main reason for getting into the love industry?

Passion: I love to make other people happy. My happiness is when I see people find their happiness. Before, I used to enjoy matching people, like my friends, and they used to come to me for advice. I love when people find each other naturally, but I’m here for the people who don’t have a chance to find love.

How did you realize that this passion could be turned into a viable business?

It’s a unique business, which I refer to as ‘the happiness business’. It’s very common in the United States of America, but not yet in Indonesia. I’m the first and only certified matchmaker in Indonesia, which is why I felt it was necessary to start this business here. I don’t mind if a competitor one comes along, but I’m proud of being the pioneer in Indonesia.

How does matchmaking at Heart Inc. work?

We offer several services: matchmaking, dating coaching, overseas dating, image consultancy and events. For matchmaking, the process works by first registering with us, after which I will meet with each person for a one-on-one, so that I can get to know them individually. I need to know their desires, backgrounds, and previous love lives before I can sign them up as a client. If I like the person and they really need my help, then I will take them on.

A successful applicant will need to pay the administration fee and we’ll arrange to meet up for a second time. For this second meeting, they need to fill out a client form, which is a very detailed questionnaire about themselves and their potential match. Then we’ll set up the dating, according to their schedules.

Before the date takes place, the client will be able to see the profile of their date first, which explains personality, work and background, so when they meet, they can just focus on seeing if there is chemistry between them.

How do you know which person to match with whom?

This is why I need to meet each client one by one, so that I can understand their personality in order to make a good match. It’s more personal; I’m your love consultant. I use my intuition, then I match them by hobbies, interests and compatibility for long-term relationships. I also do background checks to ensure all information given to me is truthful.

How much are your fees?

A six-month membership gets you five dates, including coaching on the dos and don’ts when dating, at US$1,800. Then we have a one-year membership at US$3,000, which gives you unlimited dates within a year and you’re entitled to relationship coaching, a makeover and access to our events, which include speed dating and singles mixers.

“I’m looking for independent, strong and financially stable men and women, mostly in their 30s or above, who are ready for love. I don’t accept desperate people. ”

What is your mission for Heart Inc?

I want to see people happy. I don’t just want to match my clients, but also give them knowledge about love, educating them on what relationships and love really is. Getting married is easy, but what happens next? I want my clients to understand what it takes to make it last.

What does it take to be one of your clients?

I’m looking for independent, strong and financially stable men and women, mostly in their 30s or above, who are ready for love. I don’t accept desperate people. People don’t want to meet desperate people. I tell my clients they need to have the four Bs: balance, body, beauty, and brains.

Do you think it’s difficult for single people to meet potential partners in Jakarta?

It’s quite tough because Jakarta is full of traffic – there’s a saying that goes ‘you get old on the road’. People also tend to have friendship circles within their industries, so when they hang out, they’re not meeting potential matches.

Do you have expatriate clients?

Yes, I have clients from the United States and Scotland.

Do your clients often look for an expatriate match?

Yes, they do. Indonesian relationships can be complicated because of the families and high expectations from them. Most of my women clients are looking for expatriate men because they think they’re more open-minded and not complicated with regards to culture and age.

What are your male clients looking for?

Generally they’re looking for smart women who dress well and aren’t complicated. They just want someone who they click with and shares chemistry that they can be with for the rest of their lives.

How long does it take for us to feel attracted to another person?

Women only need 95 seconds to know if they like a man or not. Men need only 90 seconds because they fall in love with their eyes. Women fall in love through their ears; they don’t care as much about looks, as long as the man is nice and sweet.

How’s business going?

Very good and it’s getting better. I have just under 500 members, who are high quality singles and are candidates and potential matches to my clients. We will continue to grow by opening in Surabaya and potentially abroad. In the future, I will be more active as a love coach, and conduct group sessions as well as one-on-ones.

What challenges do you face?

I have a client who is Indonesian but doesn’t want to date Indonesian women, only Brazilian, Russian or Eastern Europeans. I have to collaborate with matchmakers abroad to try and find him the right woman. It can be challenging when I meet clients with very high expectations or clients who aren’t ready to be open and honest with me.

Could you share a success story with us?

One of my clients is from Singapore and their potential match was Indian but from Indonesia. On their first date, they didn’t feel any chemistry, but they were still keen to try a second date. On the second date, they felt something click and they got married last July!

Do you also cater for gay and lesbian couples?

Not yet, but I’m open to that in the future.

What do you see as being the key points of a successful relationship?

Trust, respect, and the ability to support each other. Relationships can bring out the best and the worst of you, but the right person will bring out the best and encourage you to be a better person.

Any advice for singles out there?

Learn to love and appreciate yourself first before you meet someone else – people will be attracted to the fact that you appreciate yourself. Also, be open-minded, as you never know who your true love will be. And finally, get your flirt on!

To get in touch, email zola.yoana@heart-inc.co or visit www.heart-in.co

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Angela is a freelance journalist and founder of Clean Up Jakarta Day. Outside the office she climbs mountains and dives oceans, all the while picking up litter.