On Thursday of 25th of June 2020, we had Mr. Mahendra Gangadharan, Destination wedding specialist and owner of Neferrtiti weddings, as he talks about his passion towards destination weddings, his lockdown experience, on why he doesn’t promote virtual weddings and more. He joined in for a chat with Espousal partner Shikha Nahata.
Tell us about yourself
Mahendra G has been in the wedding industry for around 32 years, and is the proud owner of Neferrtiti Wedding- a Bangalore based destination wedding planners. “We are a trend setter for destination weddings in Bangalore. We cover almost 16 destinations across the globe” says Mr. Mahendra, who truly believes in the art of being different, and this what was the driving force behind him and his company to become a trendsetter of destination weddings in Bangalore. According to him Destination weddings are quite catchy and crazy, something that attracts people nowadays. An interesting analysis he gives regarding the nature of weddings now. According to him, the importance towards the number of people or capacity in a wedding has reduced. What right now matters more is the location of the wedding. He gives examples of how sometimes people say with pride how they got married in Morocco, or in Tuscany, or in Thailand etc.
It’s been 32 years, and still today they have been working hard. He personally likes calling himself aggressive, passionate and workaholic. He is so workaholic that he works on most Sundays, and no doubt why his passion reflects in his work and his company’s brand consistently for so many years!
Right now their company is reinventing and are focusing towards Europe.
He has done destination weddings in 16 different destinations around the globe and he’s even done weddings on water, on land, in forest and even on an Island! Truly, his expertise and experience is worth more than any gold!
Your experience of the lockdown both in terms of work wise and personal wise?
“It was quite depressing initially. In the second stage of lockdown we got hit the hardest.” Says Mr. Mahendra, as he further tells us about how his business has been hit adversely. Firstly, he lost many of his international clients. Secondly, the vast network of vendors his company had were all down to as they were equally hit too. Hence, it was hard for his company to organize any event.
But as the lockdown proceeded further, this time period became somewhat a boon for Mr. Mahendra and his company. Most importantly, he got to spend some quality time with his family for so long. For a workaholic person who even works on Sundays like him, such a period would have proven to be a bliss for him and his family too.
Then the next step what his company did was to utilize this time towards research and reinventing stuff. They started focusing on keeping the brand alive “We made sure whatever happens our brand should not get lost”. Thus, over the course of the lockdown period, they have successfully come up with amazing and creative ideas and projects.
The other achievement he’s had is that he has been working on his fitness and health during the course of this lockdown, by working out and following a strict diet.
Will international weddings happen post November?
“November no. Post January yes. A lot of weddings will happen post January. November and December still stands to be quite an uncertain period.”
Have you done any virtual weddings? And your views about this entire concept?
Mr. Mahendra says that he has received a lot of enquiries regarding virtual weddings but he hasn’t done any, and the reason for that being “I haven’t done any virtual wedding because I don’t want to promote the concept of virtual wedding”. He strongly feels that virtual weddings lack a lot of things like creativity, lighting, sound and most importantly human touch- which is quite personal for any wedding. It may be the need of the hour, but definitely it can never replace a normal wedding. The other reason why he doesn’t want to promote virtual weddings is because there is no flow of money in virtual weddings.
He also feels that virtual space could be the new normal for events and corporate industry, but definitely it’s not the new normal for wedding events or wedding industries.
That’s why he’s suggested all of his clients do a small intimate wedding, and do the big celebration later when everything becomes normal.
What is your take on wedding expos?
Mr. Mahendra feels that expos are quite important for making your brand’s presence strong among your target buyers. Expos help in narrowing down the target buyers, and helps make great connections with them.
Your views on Espousal?
Mr. Mahendra feels that a concept like an online wedding expo such as the Espousal is going to work really well. “It’s a very novel and experimental idea. It brings in all the people involved at one platform and I am really looking forward to this and being a part of it!”.
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