“A person who cannot do anything in his life ends up doing event management” is many people’s perception. But we have Amrut Athavale with us today, who left his lucrative IT job and co-founded a company called Sixteen by Sixty-four Media Pvt. Ltd. Amrut wanted to translate his dreams into reality and that is when he took the plunge. If you are looking at being an event manager or starting your own event management company, you are at the right place. In Breaking the Box today we talk about Event Management and the road ahead with Amrut Athavale.
From IT to Event Management and Entrepreneurship – The Leap of Faith
Amrut had a special attachment with his IT job as it was the one of the coveted jobs which he had attained through rigorous interviews and tests on the first day of his placements. He had proved many wrong by getting this job who thought he was wasting time indulging in sports and theatre activities at his college. And yet the passion for theatre was calling out to him. Amrut says, “Sixteen by Sixty-four is a passion driven company which came to life when five very close friends and talented individuals came together, to work together and to make something larger than the sum of it’s parts. The basic idea of the founders was pure, simple and simultaneous – to get together, enjoy creating and delivering fresh ideas that would last and take them to the masses. And do all of this knowing the fact that they can do it much better.”
Amrut acknowledges the fact that his wife was very supportive and took on the financial burden of the family till Amrut settled down with his new venture. It took 5 years for Sixteen by Sixty Four to match his last drawn IT salary and yet they did not give up on this journey.
Sixteen by Sixty Four – A Little Overview
According to the Indian mythology, the world comprises of 16 forms of ‘vidyā’ (knowledge) and 64 forms of ‘kalā’ (arts). Hence the name of the company. Sixteen by Sixty-four Media is a company that excels in various forms of media and communications. Formed in 2008 and based out of Pune, Sixteen by Sixty-four Media is a unique collection of passionate minds that find excitement and satisfaction in creating and delivering well thought ideas and strategies through different forms of media. As of today, Sixteen by Sixty-four Media Pvt. Ltd. is active in the events and corporate films business. It is the parent company of “JoySmiths Pvt. Ltd.” which caters to weddings and celebrations and also the parent company of “Sixteen by Sixty-four Productions Pvt. Ltd.” which is into feature film production.
Event Management – The Skills
We asked Amrut on what specific skills one must have to be a successful Event Manager and he goes into a trance. He then comes back and says, “There are no special technical skills required to be an Event Manager. You have to be open to learn a lot of new things, adjust to new environments, cater to various on the spot demands by the client, be soft spoken to clients and at the same time be a task master to get things done. You cannot have a NO as an answer to any of the things necessary to make an event or a wedding successful, so long as everything fits in the prescribed budget. You have to be capable to deliver in the most extreme conditions that you could imagine.”
Amrut also mentioned that there are quite a lot of formal courses available today in this field. These are mainly diploma and post graduate diploma certification in event management.
The Pros and Cons
Amrut laughs and says, “We make our friends jealous with our selfies with celebrities on social media”. On a serious note he adds that what is seen on the surface is just a minute part of the entire story. Amrut further clarifies, “In fact, it is a tough job with high expectations. One mistake and you might be out of business. Our schedules during events are crazy. We end up working for 72 hours or sometimes 96 hours straight with or without some food and/or sleep. All this tends to take a toll on your health, we miss out on our birthdays, anniversaries and family functions some time get our second priorities.”
Advice to the Next in Line Event Managers
“This career option is definitely financially viable. But one has to go all-in at one point to make this financially viable. Also, like in every industry, you have to cut costs wherever necessary and make smart investments to get good returns. Investments in good talent, good equipment; everything pays off”.
Amrut also adds –
We hope Amrut Athavale has inspired you to take the plunge if Event Management is your calling. So buckle up, be ready to take the risks and don’t be sorry for not trying.