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Interview with Karthik Gowda, Managing Director, Buxus Media Pvt Ltd

So the very first guest speaker on our instagram live series On-ground vs virtual events and opportunities for the future” was none other than Mr. Karthik Gowda, Managing Director, Buxus Media Pvt Ltd

In this candid chat, Mr. Gowda opens up about his journey in the field of events, about his firm Buxus Media, about his love and passion for motorsports and much more! Mr. Gowda joins our CEO Mr. Arvind Jyot Sabhaney on a very thunderous evening of 6PM, on a Tuesday of May 26th. 

The whole idea behind conducting this live series is to answer some of the critical and crucial questions being asked about the events industry due to the pandemic. These questions pertain to the new future of the events industry, from various aspects such as economic, job opportunities, event activities etc.

And we at team.i are inviting the masterminds of the events industry to answer these set of questions and share their opinions and views about the future of the industry.

Why did you join event management? What has been your experience so far at the end of things that you have done? What would you advise?

For Mr. Karthik Gowda, the reason to enter the world of event management was because of the obvious thing: To experience the flashy and glamorous side of it. His career kickstarted after he completed his PG diploma and then MBA from team.i.

His first breakthrough was from team.i where he worked for a year, and then he worked for a couple of other agencies. After years of working hard, he decided to open his own media agency called the Buxus Media pvt. Ltd in the year 2016.

He recalls “it (Buxus) was something, an inspiration. You know, you want to achieve something in life. You want to do something very different. You don’t want to be an engineer. You don’t because every Tom, Dick and Harry out there is an engineer or a doctor, but an event manager of this skill is something very rare to see in our country.

And even if you are, you’re not noticed anywhere. So when you tell amongst your friends or family that you are an event manager and you’re doing good, everyone will raise their eyebrows. So that’s what I am” 

In Bangalore Buxus must be one of the top turnover wise companies. So what do you attribute your success to in the past four years?

“So that we are very proud of” says Mr.Gowda about the success of their company’s turnovers. He attributes his success to his education “I can tell you that because I have got the right education. I was privileged enough to get into team.i, and learnt a lot of things over there.” 

What have you done in the last 63 days since the lockdown was first announced?

For Mr. Karthik, this lockdown period has entirely been about learning new skills and updating the old ones.

He says “I have been improving on my skills, I have been redesigning my website for the company, thinking over it, taking time, which I didn’t have that kind of a time earlier. And also I’m learning new skills which is designing and then doing a lot of things on the presentation front, learning a lot of new techniques, how to better my SOPs, working on few projects, building on it, how to give a better coach to the client wherein he’ll also be happy. That’s what I’ve been doing”

As for his company, its been quite a learning process for them too. As a team, they have been thinking a lot about the process, on how to reduce the setup time and dismantling time. 

For someone like Mr. Karthik, this lockdown has proven to be a buffer period to learn different things, and values because, in his own words he says, “After the lockdown, I’ll be a better person. I’ll be a better person in front of my clients.”

What are your takes on virtual events?

Mr. Karthik wasn’t surprised about this entire virtual event concept. “If you ask me frankly, virtual events have always been there. You know, when you used to play your PlayStations or the Xbox three 60 or your Nintendo or your small video game, it was all virtual. We used to all use Skype those days or your WhatsApp video call or your Facebook video call. So all of those were virtual events. That is what, you know, virtual is not a new thing into the market right now.”

So, do you think virtual events are here to stay post pandemic?

According to Mr. Karthik, virtual events will stay along with the on ground events. It would be a little tougher to conduct both, but he feels virtual events are here to stay post pandemic as well.

He thinks that the clients would definitely not scrap the virtual events idea, and they will definitely ask the event firms to collaborate virtual events with on ground events. 

“Once the lockdown gets over, it’s going to be bigger for us.”

But also according to him, virtual events won’t be able to topple or replace on-ground events. Once everything is back to normal, he feels on-ground events will come back bigger and will dominate the virtual space.

Any date for the on ground events?

“Yeah, definitely. We are looking at sometime from August, end of August or sometime end of June or July. So it can happen anytime. So we are all set.” Estimates a confident Karthik about resuming on ground event activities by his company. 

When is your best case situation?

“My best case situation, I think end of August, comes what may.”

So what do you think the worst case situation would be like?

Mr. Karthik feels quite positive about the future, and believes that it’s not possible for virtual reality to replace the on-ground events. For this he gives the example of Automobile industry.

He says “If a company needs to sell something, they can’t keep selling it online. So if you want to buy your car, let’s say a BMW or an Audi. The showroom will come up with a virtual experience where you can, except for the test drive, can experience the complete car.

But you know, when you’re putting in so much money, you would definitely want to experience driving the car and then put your money and buy the car. So it needs to come back to normal. For sure” 

Have you laid back any people in this pandemic?

“Wel!l No. In fact we are looking for more people!”

So in the worst case situation, how would the event industry be hiring people?

Mr. Gowda feels that it’s much more difficult to run a virtual event than an on ground event. Thus, while organising a virtual event, the task and the role of an event manager and the people under him/her becomes more tough.

The team has to manage the audience and take in proper feedback to make the virtual experience better next time. For this to happen, he feels the event management firm should hire more people.

He says, “The virtual event is the next trend which is going to happen and event companies should hire more people from or reputed Institute, who knows that knowledge because you can’t get the normal people to do it”.

Give us a little case study on the event that you did at Goa?

On being asked this question, Mr.Karthik became quite excited. For him MotorSoul, the event’s name, was a very close to heart project. This event was conducted jointly by TVS motor company and Buxus. 

It was a 2 day event and the venue was organised over an area of almost 78 acres. They had live music and different motorsport activities. 

Buxus team along with volunteers from team.i helped setting up this entire festival. 

“It was a world class event if you asked me. This is the best motor sports event which has happened to-date in the country” exclaims an excited Mr. Karthik.

Okay. What do you think is the future of motor sport related fun events?

According to Mr. Gowda, motor sport fun events such as TSD rallies could be conducted any moment now. He says this because the TSD rally is all about social distancing, and follows the safety measures of COVID-19.

Maybe the Gala dinner which includes prize distribution may be a huge doubt, but the most important part of the event can be conducted during this lockdown situation.  “Motor sport related fun events? you can run it tomorrow morning. If the person who is issuing the license understands the fact that the TSD rallies is covid friendly then he/she will issue the permission next minute”.

To watch the full interview, head over to our instagram page.

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