Interview with Prawal Narayan
On a lovely Tuesday evening, 14th of July at 6pm, we had Mr. Prawal Narayan, CEO of Event-U-All, 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. Prawal has grown up in various places around the country as his father worked for the Govt. He then pursued an engineering degree from a college in Jalandhar, and after completing his degree he moved down south to Bangalore for Job. This is where he realized that this is the kind of job he doesn’t want to do. “I always wanted to do something of my own. Me and wife brainstormed after that”.
With a lack of experience and money, Mr. Prawal decided to open his events firm thinking that this was a novel idea. “We were hardworking as we put in 18 hours a day. We were perseverant. Honestly, it was on the job learning for us. We started advertising online when nobody did. Our initial bookings were birthday parties. Through our website we got a lot of leads. We started slow, and realized that we have to build our own step”.
According to Mr. Prawal, he and his firm were quite lucky since most of their clients were young IT minds joining the industry, thus they were able to relate to him, his idea and his firm. “Thus it was easier for them to relate to us and have faith in us”.
Slowly, since then, their firm took off big time. Between the time period of 2007 – 2009, they grew into a hectic scenario where they were doing 15-20 events per week. “It was a lot. That’s when by 2011 we stopped the personal party space. Since then we have been growing”.
As rightfully he puts in his own words, his firm since then has been growing, and growing quite well. They have done several big events and multi-city events. They have even done events that had around 10,000 people. The journey so far for Mr.Prawal, his firm and his team has been quite extraordinary.
“We have so far been quite creative with our work in our journey. What we bring on the table is finesse and that we take the guarantee that your event would be successful. This is why the clients choose us.”
How have you handled the lockdown?
According to Mr. Prawal, back then he thought this situation was going to last for 2-3 months and post that it would take very less time for things to get back to normalcy. Thus, he and his team started planning for the upcoming 3 months. “We did a tremendous amount of work. Everyday we connected with our different set of teams over call. We would look at new opportunities and ways and discuss it everyday”.
But after lockdown 2 started, things seemed different. This is when he realized this situation is staying for at least a year. This is when they started planning for the next 1 year.
When asked about any layoffs, he tells us that he hasn’t let go of any of his employees exactly. “For some people we have given them a break for 5-6 months. We would help them learn new skills, and once things get normal they are the first ones to get called”. For the rest of the other employees, he has brought down the cost by slightly decreasing their salary to 70%.
What they have focused on during this period is on their digital team that works for them and takes care of their branding, and the other is that they have focused on different ways of developing new and varied stuff.
When asked about his plans for next year he says “In 2021, we aren’t looking for profits, but to equate our cost. This is the year of survival”.
Have you done any virtual events?
“Yes, but the billings are not on the same scale as normal events”.
Further discussing virtual events, Mr. Prawal shares his opinion “virtual events can never replace the on ground ones. It may compensate for sound and eyes to some extent, but not touch. We will not be able to bill the client the same amount because especially in Bangalore these corporates have a better knowledge about technology. They have access to better and more technology for free. Thus it’s hard to bill clients as much as on ground”.
Advice for the young people out there?
“You will have to look at event management as a career. It’s not a scheme. You have to have patience. You have to look at event industry as a long term prospect. This is not a quick money making scheme. If you want to be in the thick of things, there’s no better place than the event management industry. The amount of one on one experience and responsibility you get, is the best and most in this industry”.
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