Wed­dings marry ex­pe­ri­ences

To stay rel­e­vant in the wed­ding space, one needs to evolve and stay ahead of the curve. Adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy in this space will make the process of im­ple­men­ta­tion much more ef­fec­tive, says Ma­hesh Shi­rod­kar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Tamarind Global.

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The wed­ding busi­ness is ex­tremely de­mand­ing and cus­tomi­sa­tion is re­quired in ev­ery as­pect when deal­ing with fam­i­lies. This busi­ness is a grow­ing ver­ti­cal for us and the size and scale of wed­dings is evolv­ing with newer trends. The be­gin­ning, namely the pitch, is what I en­joy. It is when you meet the fam­ily for the first time and they are as­sess­ing you and your abil­i­ties. From then on, once we are on board, the en­tire jour­ney up to ex­e­cu­tion is what is ex­cit­ing. Our wed­dings team has ex­panded con­sid­er­ably in the last year with grow­ing busi­ness needs.

For­tu­nately, wed­dings are a re­ces­sion-free busi­ness in In­dia and the vari­ances in spend­ing may oc­cur with bud­get cuts. While tax per­cent­age on rooms is up, the per­cent­age on F&B is def­i­nitely down. Hence, there is no ma­jor con­cern for a di­rect im­pact of GST on wed­ding spends.

Ex­pe­ri­en­tial wed­dings

Hy­brid wed­dings are the new thing this sea­son where larger func­tions like en­gage­ment, wed­ding and re­cep­tion are in the fam­ily home­town and a smaller se­lect group is taken to an ex­otic desti­na­tion for the sangeet, mehendi, cock­tail and other pe­riph­eral func­tions. Nowa­days, clients are put­ting less em­pha­sis on decor and more on ex­pe­ri­en­tial el­e­ments like food and en­ter­tain­ment. Ear­lier, the reg­u­lar for­mat was three nights, but due to var­i­ous rea­sons such as fre­quency of wed­dings, es­ca­lat­ing costs and pres­sure of en­ter­tain­ing guests for longer, most peo­ple tend to stick to a two- night for­mat.

More de­mand­ing than ever

I feel pos­i­tive about the next few years dur­ing which there will be wed­ding cu­ra­tors who will stand out rather than the abun­dance of ‘wed­ding plan­ners’. The busi­ness of wed­dings will get even more de­mand­ing and clients will keep ask­ing for new des­ti­na­tions and value for money propo­si­tions. How­ever, the cu­mu­la­tive value turnover for wed­dings will al­ways be fairly ex­po­nen­tial. So to sim­plify it, wed­dings and the events busi­ness will al­ways re­main in a bull phase es­pe­cially in In­dia. To stay rel­e­vant in the wed­ding space, one needs to evolve and stay ahead of the curve. Adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy in this space will make process im­ple­men­ta­tion much more ef­fec­tive.

Clients pre­fer ho­tels that are well con­nected, prefer­ably ac­ces­si­ble by one flight and un­der hours travel time. There are of­ten el­derly guests and fam­ily on the guest list who are not com­fort­able with te­dious travel. An­other rea­son is the two-day wed­ding for­mat can only be achieved if the travel time is not ex­ten­sive. If the desti­na­tion is too far, a third night is added and costs go up. Ho­tels in In­dia and South East Asia also un­der­stand In­dian hos­pi­tal­ity and our food re­quire­ments which are crit­i­cal for In­dian wed­dings. How­ever, ho­tels must have pro­fes­sional event man­agers on pay­roll who can fo­cus on wed­dings and event- re­lated re­quire­ments as just sales and ops man­agers at unit ho­tels will not be enough to cater ef­fec­tively to the com­pli­cated needs of the fam­i­lies. Flex­i­bil­ity of buy- outs and out­side cater­ing along with hav­ing qual­i­fied In­dian spe­cial­ity chefs al­ways helps. ( The views ex­pressed are solely of the au­thor. The pub­li­ca­tion may or may not sub­scribe to the same.)

Ma­hesh Shi­rod­kar Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Tamarind Global

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