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Interview with Mr. John M Kohlhoff, Managing Partner, Enzymes Marketing

Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities is the third installment of team.i instagram live series. Through this series, we aim at providing a common platform for all those interested in understanding and contributing to the future of the Events and Entertainment Industry after this entire pandemic situation. As we all know that the economy has been hit hard due to the pandemic and its effect can be felt strongly in various industries especially the Events and Entertainment Industry. Thus, through our live series we look to answer some key questions and queries of concern related to this dynamic industry that are being constantly asked by freshers, students and employees of this industry. 

On a lovely Friday evening, 19th of July at 6pm, we had Mr. John M Kohlhoff, Managing Partner, Enzymes Marketing, join Mr. Arvind, CEO of team.i on our Instagram live series  Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities.

Tell us about yourself:

Mr. John’s journey starts way back in 1989 when he finished his schooling, and got an opportunity to be part of a Church’s youth group. “ I was given the logistical responsibilities for the group, like buying tickets for the entire group etc. This led me to learn how to become operational and get things done. My joy was making everyone else satisfied and happy”.

On the parallel, he pursued engineering and started his college life. “Funnily, I did less engineering and more events. I was part of the culturals and events team in my first year itself. Thus I travelled with the team within different parts of Karnataka”. So after finishing his college, he realised he wasn’t ready yet to do any sort of job. Thus he took a gap year, Started a theatre production with his friends and travelled across India with the group. “ Me and a bunch of other friends started a theatre production together. We traveled across India to do shows. My job was unique for the group.

I would carry the letters to the Times of India or the Deccan Chronicle  and get them to write about our group. I was backstage right from day 1. There was complete development of what I am today during that time. So I made the most of my 1 year sabbatical”.

Once his year got over, it was high time for him to get a job. He thus went in for a walk-in interview and got his first job. This is where he met one of his friends who had come to this firm one fine day. “He was part of an events company, and he wanted to leave it.

So he asked me if I was interested, and that’s how my entry to the events world started. I was hired there. This is where I got groomed about the events industry”.

He then got married, whom he had been seeing for 6 years, and then he got an opportunity to work at Zee. “I then got a break with ZEE, and worked with their ecommerce space. We worked on a  lot of ideation and activation there”. After working with Zee for a while, he worked for several other firms. 

After Zee, he got an opportunity to work for an International Agency in Muscat, which he describes as his hardest learning experience so far. After that he came back to India, and joined a firm in Chennai. Over there he worked with one of their clients which was British Council, and his team was responsible for helping change the old image of British Council, and attract a younger set of crowd.

After a while, he joined Ford and they did some iconic work such as launching the model ‘Fiesta’ which got Ford back into the market, and helped in pioneering the culture of pre online booking. He then got a call from a firm in Bangalore, and he shifted his base to Bangalore- where he got the account of Tanishq to handle. Here he travelled to South Africa for an ad shoot. He then joined the newspaper DNA, and was part of the team that launched their first edition in Bangalore.

This was according to him one of his best times. He scripted some of the amazing promotions and campaigns. He and his team were responsible for covering various concerts and most notably by covering the concert of The Backstreet Boys. Thus, he had created a strong name for himself in the organisation. This made him get transferred to Mumbai as marketing head for DNA. This is where his daughter was born. 

After working there for a while, he moved to Network 18 for a brief period, and then joined another firm for another short stay. This is when he realised he should start something of his own. “ I realised that I could be an entrepreneur and thus I started in my city Bangalore. This is where I created Enzymes”.

How was the lockdown period for you?

“It’s been a very busy period during this lockdown. We have been looking at how the market has changed and evolved. We have been looking at Zoom, Microsoft Meet etc from a creative point of view. I am right now working with an art college together where we are looking at how we can do things creatively.

We are looking at theatre, and I feel we can use this virtual space creatively to do theatre- just like movies. We are also thinking about what kind of theatre will work. And obviously music , we are working on music as well”. 

Any Advice for the youngsters out there?

“My simple solution is that you need to stick with what your core competence is. Make sure your direction is sure. Whenever you are confused, approach people who are professional, and they will guide you. Make sure you have a direction to follow. You need to figure out what you are best at, or whatever you like. If there’s passion and love in something that you do, you will do it the best.

It doesn’t matter if thousand others are doing the same thing. If you do it with passion, love and integrity, you will become really successful. Success takes time, and once you get it you enjoy it. You can’t jump the que in success, you have to follow the process. It takes time”. 

Watch the full video here

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