Live with Srikant Kanoi

On Monday of 6thof July 2020, we had Mr.Srikant Kanoi, Founder and CEO of Ethereal Celebration Management, as he talks about his journey as a pioneer in floriculture in our country, about Ethereal, about the future of events in our country, about virtual events and more. He joined in for a chat with Espousal partner Shikha Nahata.

About yourself:

Mr. Srikant’s journey can be traced back to many years ago. His interest in plants and flowers started off during his college days, as he used to study about plants as part of his course in college. He then started off a flower business, and for this he went to The Netherlands to get the first set of plants.

When his business started, it was an offseason. Thus he had a lot of stock but buyers were less. This is when he decided to open up shops in Mumbai and Delhi. “People told me that this is going to be a foolish move. Why not wait till the on season?”. But this move paid off big time, as it created a huge demand.

In 1999 a new chapter opened up when he and his company decided to join the events industry. According to Mr. Srikant, back then there were very few players in the market in this business, thus it was a very smooth road back then. “I went to 10 clients and came back with 9 confirmed.”

Speaking of Ethereal, it was founded 5 years ago, and their team consists of 4 – 2 youngsters and 2 experienced. His company’s main role is to look after the floral design, meet clients, suggest designs etc. What he is really proud about his company is that they make sure they are available to their clients all the time. “Personalization is one of the most important things in our industry, and we should be available to clients always. “

How’s the lockdown experience been both in terms of work wise and personal wise?

“Lot of positives” was Mr. Srikant’s immediate response. Work wise, he and his team used this time to upskill. Then they took time to connect with different vendors and hotels. “The future is collaboration.”. According to Mr. Srikant, it’s very important to check up on vendors from the industry as they are facing a bad time too, and that every player in the industry should look forward to collaborations.

The other thing their company did was to stay connected with their clients during this time.

 But in terms of flower business, it’s on a positive note according to Mr. Srikant. They have been receiving pan india orders, although not as much as it used to be earlier, but it’s still there.

 Speaking about personal time he says “I got a lot of me time. I used this to upskill my soft skill”.

What does the future hold for the events industry?

Mr. Srikant feels that right now safety is the biggest concern, and we all have to respect the safety measures. But on a positive note, he does feel that the current situation would stop once the vaccine is out. “Indians miss bonding. People who are working, miss going to work and to interact with people. Once the vaccine is out, people will come out, and this time it would be bigger than the normal time. It would be very big”.

Talking about the wedding industry, he has the same feeling here too. In an Indian wedding, there’s no fun if there are less people. Thus this situation won’t prevail once the vaccine is out.

Safety is a major concern. Indians miss the bonding. Now you are missing going to work.

Very soon this will be over. Once the vaccine is out, people will come out and it will be bigger than the normal time. It would be very big. In weddings we need people around.

Your take on virtual event:

Mr. Srikant strongly feels that virtual events are going to play a huge role in future especially for the corporates. According to him, people are getting used to the concept of work from home. “The virtual space helps in cutting down the logistical hassle. Statistics have shown that in a virtual meeting, 86% of people are deeply involved. “

But Mr. Srikant doesn’t feel the same about weddings. He says it would be a huge challenge to conduct the wedding online. But he’s sure of one thing and that is that virtual weddings will always remain in future. It would be part of their checklist as it helps people who are in far away geographical space or those who aren’t able to come due to last minute changes can any time join to witness the wedding.

Have you done virtual wedding:

“Talks are happening”. Ethereal so far hasn’t conducted any virtual weddings. They have conducted small intimate weddings but not virtual.

Your take on Wedding expos:

“They are very important. It allows you to network, gets to see what’s new in the industry, helps you connect with channel partners. A good expo will obviously attract me.”

Further continuing on this topic, Mr. Srikant feels that it’s a great opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect. He advises novice vendors to distinguish their product from the rest. “Thoda hatke. Something different. Vendors with different ideas and products will sell more.”

Your take on Espousal:

 “I am sure you guys are gonna do a great job. It’s a great initiative. The world is waiting for this. People don’t have to spend on logistics. People will be saving on so many things. This will be convenient. It allows me to connect with them properly.” Says Mr. Srikant as he feels Espousal is going to be a great event.

Another thing that he feels about an online expo is the pace of communication and connections. He feels there is fast communication and thus making connections quite efficient and quick. This will allow and help in the exchange of information, as information will be passed at a quicker rate, thus saving a lot of time on logistical issues.

He thinks this could be a great opportunity for creative people and tech people to showcase and collaborate their talent with the vendors, which otherwise had no or not much scope in an on ground event.

But however he does feel people will miss a physical expo as the environment of an expo is still lacking.

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