Hitesh Kumar Meghani, 36
Job: Event manager
His first month’s salary as a PR executive was Rs 5000. It was in the year 1996. Today he drives a Hyundai Accent and earns around Rs 1.5 lakh a month. He is an MCom and MBA and is currently pursuing an LLB. He is 36 years old.
Meet Hitesh Kumar Meghani, an event manager who runs his own organisation Li’nage Events Expositions and handles “a broad spectrum of clients encompassing a wide range of industry”.
“I was in the PR industry, and it was a natural progression for a person like me. Event management is a very exciting and challenging option for a person who loves manpower intensive as well as a creative job,” declares Meghani, who thinks formal education is not a pre-requisite to becoming a successful event manager, but “it definitely gives you the cutting-edge over competition.”
“The objective of an event is to touch the end user and in certain cases the chain of distribution. Promotion has been ranked the third P of marketing and an event is a very important promotional tool. It is an effective measure of brand recall generation,” says Meghani, who feels that with globalisation and the changes in the world economic scenario the event management market has a tremendous growth potential. He considers people skills as one of the most important attributes along with a critical eye and attention to detail for success in the field of event management.
What about the challenges that event managers face today? “Since there is the lure of good returns the mushrooming of non-professional, non-experienced fly-by night companies are giving the business a bad name,” he complains. However, he rues the fact that “none of our leading management institutes have an event management course,” but there are couple of private institutes, which offer diplomas in event management.
Meghani, however, hates the erratic work hours but acknowledges that when you are a part of the service industry you are on call 24x7. Though there is a lot of scope for trained professionals, the beginners should be prepared to “think on their feet,” feels Meghani, who dreams of opening branches across the country and even abroad, five years from now.
Step 1: Trainee
This is the starting point. Here you should spend some time on each aspect of the business, from creative, to client servicing to operations.
Pay: Rs 7,500 per month
Step 2: Executive/Senior executive
At this stage, you are likely to be working in a team of four or five people. You will do most of the running around, and will be expected to put in long hours.
Pay: Rs 15,000 to Rs 22,000 per month
Step 3: Junior manager/Senior manager
This is when you will start managing a team. The responsibility for executing an event will be yours, from making a client presentation to communicating with celebrities and vendors.
Pay: Rs 22,000 to Rs 40,000 per month
Step 4: Account manager/ group head
You will have specific clients to take care of. This means you will have to formulate long-term plans and take care of all the clients' needs. Alternatively, as a group head, you will oversee around three separate teams.
Pay: Rs 75,000 to Rs 80,000 per month
Step 5: General manager
You are at the top of the ladder. You will have to take care of all departments, and create a vision for the company's long-term growth.
Pay: Rs 1 lakh per month upwards
Pluses and Minuses
Variety: Every day is different, and each event will bring with it a new set of challenges and opportunities. There is little room to get bored.
Travel: The business requires both national and international travel
Unlimited growth: The industry is just taking off. There is immense opportunity for expansion, growth and to branch out into allied fields
Long hours: Events often go on into the wee hours of the night and it is important for you to be present
Lack of a social life: Long hours mean that time with family and friends will be compromised
Health issues: Irregular work hours mean that often you don't sleep for days or eat at odd hours. It can lead to health complications
Easy money brings in nonprofessional, fly by the night companies, which is giving the business a bad name. True professionals will have to deal with this