Event management sector in India has huge potential, however, this sector still remains largely untapped. With a huge country like ours there is a requirement for organizing big awards functions, concerts, and shows, involving thousands of spectators, smaller events like college cultural fests or even weddings and birthday parties, every other day. One startup that has understood this fact and is moving towards fulfilling this gap is InviteMyGuest.
InviteMyGuest (IMG) is an online marketplace that enables you to explore and hire (invite) artists, performers, celebrities, emcees, speakers, entrepreneurs, inspirational figures, trainers etc. (referred to as “Guests‟ by IMG) for any and all kinds of events, all from the comfort of one‟s home or office. The event may be a wedding, corporate party, training, birthday celebration, endorsement, sports day at school, cultural fest or even a guest lecture in college.
Based out of Delhi InviteMyGuest was founded by a team of two – Vivek Pateshwari and Akshay Agarwal in the year 2015. Vivek is an Alumnus of IIM Calcutta and IIT Kharagpur. He used to head the marketing portfolio, comprising five countries, for a large business conglomerate based out of Doha, Qatar. During his stint there, he also organized one of the biggest events in Qatar, including a human smiley that set a new Guinness World Record for its immense size, followed by a live concert. This experience gave him lots of insights into a field he was already deeply interested in – events industry. He approached Akshay with the concept and he immediately agreed to be the co-founder. Akshay is an IIT Guwahati and IIM Raipur alumnus, having an experience of about 4 years spread across consulting, project management, supply chain and outsourcing. He spearheaded various intensive cost reduction projects in a lighting manufacturing company, explored and assessed raw material sourcing from Australia and South Korea for steel and thermal power plant projects and took the charge of OPEP, the Operations Club at IIM Raipur, from where he did his MBA in 2013. Akshay worked on multiple live projects during the MBA program, including one with Aegis Consulting, for a major mobile phone retailer. He is also certified Green Belt in Six Sigma from Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, and a B. Tech. graduate from IIT Guwahati.
Speaking about his venture, Vivek explains,
“While at IIM Calcutta, I used to face lots of troubles in getting speakers, including well-known personalities, CXOs or celebrities, on the campus for events or lectures. Usually, obtaining quick and transparent access to such people, and, even before that, gathering enough information to identify the best prospective ‘guests’ for a particular event, was a daunting and time consuming task. On the other hand, there were lesser-known people equally or more eligible for such invites or opportunities. Clearly, there was a gap which needed to be addressed. By the time we quit our cushy jobs, we had also decided to expand our portfolio from just events in educational institutes to the broader events sector.”
IMG aims to provide Business, PR and Networking to its guests through event-invites by solving the real life problems, for instance the Problem of Accessibility, in case an event organizer wants to reach out to a specific guest, a well-known public figure, a having a middleman involved. And secondly by providing opportunities to less known talents by extending their reach and visibility.
IMG is a quick, easy and transparent way of discovering, choosing and hiring/inviting talents, artists and celebrities for any type of event. They help connect the event organizer/host directly with his chosen Guests (talents), hence eliminating the non-essential middle-men. IMG has been associated with over 90 events, including college events (mostly in IITs & IIMs including TEDx talks, fests etc.), corporate events (Dr. Kalam memorial conferences etc.) and personal events (wedding). Over a thousand Guest inquiries have been received. The number of Guests on the platform is over 700, while 2000 more have given their consent to come on board. IMG has over 2000 offline Guest profiles which the team is focused to bring online within the next couple of months. The team is also engaging with the local event management firms to generate demand and is getting a great response. InviteMyGuest will soon launch mobile apps for their ‘Guests’ (talents, celebrities etc.) and hence improve the experience even more.