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Event mgmt: Odds and events

After taking up a job with a telecom major that lasted all of one day, Daryl Sheldon, the director of Seventy Seven Entertainment, a 35-person company that specialises in organising corporate events recognised his true calling. Riddhi Shah finds out. Wowing them | Career Ladder | Institutes in India | Pluses & Minuses | Skills required | Global opportunities | Quirky facts | 'Event Management helpa connect with the users' | Business Buzz

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2012 12:27 IST
Riddhi Shah

Surprise is too mild a word to describe the way Daryl Sheldon’s former school buddies react when they see the 27-year-old zipping around the city in his Honda Citi.



“Academics was not my biggest strength,” says the smiling director of Seventy Seven Entertainment, a 35-person company that specialises in organising corporate events. <b1>



When he was still in college, Sheldon — whose biggest passion is music — started out as a DJ “to make some pocket money”. Soon he was being asked to organise events thanks to his talent for thinking up unique concepts for events. But even then he did not look at event management as a career option.



He took up the job of an administrative executive with a telecom major. It lasted all of one day. “I’m too much of a people person to last in a corporate set-up,” says Sheldon.



That was in 2001. He opted for a freelance career in event management, and a year later, decided to start his own firm with two friends. “Manoj, Aditya and I pooled in Rs 1 lakh and decided to go for it. It was easier because we were young and had fewer responsibilities.”



All they had to show for their company was one computer, a lone printer and a little money left over for rent. But six months later, when they had grown to 13 employees, the trio realised they were “here to stay”.



Today, Seventy Seven generates a nine-figure annual turnover (he refused to say how much he takes home), and works with biggies like JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Sony Entertainment Television.



The work he is most proud of is the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry awards his company organised for Sony television. “It was only in our second year of operation. It was our first televised show and we had only four days to put it together,” he recalled.



This year, Seventy Seven will start two of its own shows, film awards and a reality show. Sheldon also plans to shift the firm out of the Andheri office to a place three times its current size.



According to his colleagues, Sheldon’s personality is perfectly suited for the event industry. “He is great with people. Managing an event requires immense co-ordination and Daryl does it seamlessly,” said Manoj Gopalani, one of the directors of Seventy Seven.



According to Sheldon, finding his way up the career ladder has given him much more than material wealth. “There has been a huge transformation in my attitude as well. I’m more committed to the company and its growth than I ever thought I would be.”