Interview with Nithin Nagaraj, CEO and Founder, Event U Rox (EUR)
Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities is the third installment of the team.i instagram live series. Through this series we aimed 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 Tuesday evening, 4th of August at 4pm, we had Mr.Nithin Nagaraj, Event U Rox (EUR), 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:
Hailing from South Bangalore, Mr. Nithin did his schooling from Saraswati School. After finishing his schooling, he did engineering on his parent’s request. “I was never into engineering, but joined because my parents wanted me to”.
His time in college is what shaped him and changed his life. In his second year, he failed all his exams and had 6 backs. Thus he had to take a year off and sit at home to prepare for the re-exam.
It was all like a lockdown situation for him. “We are facing a lockdown situation now, which I had faced in 2006”. The initial 2 months was quite hard for him. He used to sit at his home doing nothing, and contemplate about his life and career. One day his friend called him up and asked him to volunteer for an event as a promoter. This event was for mIdday, where he would have to ask quiz questions to people in a pub. It was a 3 month period of work.
“At the end of the 3 months, I was the only one who stayed from the start till the end. Rest all quit, and there were new faces every week.”. During these 3 months he made a lot of friends and built a good network.
He enjoyed this experience, and then he joined his second company that had to promote an Airtel product. His job mainly revolved around door-to-door sales. Since he had a wide network, within 4 months he started providing manpower to the firm for door to door sales. “In a matter of 4 months, I had 12 supervisors under me who were managing 230 boys for a door-to-door sales job”.
Soon after that, he cleared his exams and got back to his normal college life. This is when his HOD approached him to conduct a farewell for his senior batch, which happened to be his original batch 2 years back. “It was quite an embarrassing moment for me to conduct a farewell for my friends. But I had to do it, and I wanted it to go really well.”
He worked hard on setting up the event, and the event went really well. He got a lot of appreciation for this effort.
After graduating from college, he did his MBA. After finishing his MBA, he joined an event management firm. During his time in this company he had a thought in his corner of his mind about opening his own event management firm. Soon after working there for a while, he put down his paper, and decided to start his own company. “I told my parents about my decision, and they told me I don’t have experience in this. But I told them I just want to do it”.
He started his company on 28th march 2011. He had no office, no money, no employee and not even a profile.
Then one day he got an order from a company to deliver them a few sets of notebooks, pens and a few other stationeries. That was his first client and his first billing, which amounted to around Rs.4000.
His next order was to work on the décor of a new year’s event. According to him, this was his most memorable 31st December. “Usually I spend New year’s eve roaming around with family and friends. But that evening I spent it by working and setting up things for this event”. Without any doubt, this event clicked a lot, and people appreciated it .
Now slowly he had created a small name for himself in the industry. In the starting of 2012, he had 3 clients and at the end of the same year he had 8. 8 years later, he has around 50 clients, all of them being top corporate firms hailing from pan India. He did 48 events alone last December. Truly his journey has been nothing short of an inspiration.
“I have learnt a lot of things from different phases of my life.”
How has lockdown been so far?
According to Mr. Nithin, his firm did not close during this lockdown, and his employees came to work regularly. Although during this time they had to plan so many things for the future. Initially Mr. Nitin felt that it would be around May end when everything opens up, but around April he realized this situation is only going to get worse and would take a lot of time.
Thus, to not keep his company and his employees idle, they decided to experiment with online events. They started looking out for various different platforms fro different country’s clients. This worked, as they got the demo of 4 platforms, which he made his employees learn in his company.
In terms of the work done, after implementing the demo, his firm started marketing about their first virtual event from April end onwards. They conducted their first ever virtual event on May 14th– a family day event for a corporate company attended by 2000 people.
Since then a series of virtual events lined up on their schedule. In May they did 3 events, and in June they did 2.
When asked about how the situation of the events would be and the future of events, Mr. Nitin says that things will start improving by September or October onwards. He feels that in future there will be a huge score for hybrid events.
Advice for the students
“The advice for the student would be to excel in each and every department. Have some hands-on experience. Upgrade yourself. Know how events have evolved. You have to keep upgrading. Be humble, confident and honest with your work. “