Gossip columnists prefer to imagine him as Sushmita Sen's boyfriend and as Dia Mirza's ex. But Bunty Sajdeh, 29, has much more than just famous girlfriends going for him. Having just started his own celebrity and event management company with a roster of clients that includes Yuvraj Singh and Sushmita Sen, Sajdeh's success story is pretty dizzying.
It all began when he was just 19. "I started working with my dad at his garment manufacturing business, but soon realised that it was just not for me. Measurements, cuffs and collars are not my idea of fun," said the commerce graduate. Soon, Sajdeh joined his brother-in-law, film producer Sohail Khan, in the latter's event management company. "Sohail guaranteed that I would like it but at the time I had no idea that I even had the required skills. In those two years, I learnt so much about maintaining relationships, managing logistics and ground details," he said.
Next on the learning curve was a big event management firm, so he joined Percept D'Mark as a manager. "At that time, there were no training institutes, so I learnt everything on my own. I was a sponge, I would just quietly observe other people. I was willing to take it slow," said Sajdeh. After putting in a solid five years there, during which time he managed the Hero Indian sports awards and several Sahara events including the Sangeet Awards, Sajdeh joined Globosport, and diversified into celebrity management. "With celebrity management you have to supply celebrities at events and also sometimes, manage the event yourself," he explained. "In this field, you are the cushion. You have to manage both the client and the celebrity."
Despite his filmi background and celebrity connections, Sajdeh insisted that he's had to work hard to get where he is. "I have to travel for weeks at a stretch. Plus this isn't a 9-to-5 job, where you can just switch off after office hours. You're always on your toes". It's clear that Sajdeh leads a hectic life. He flies off to Kolkata with Saif Ali Khan on the day of our interview, returns two days later and then flies to Australia the day after.
But he isn't complaining. The downsides to the job, said Sajdeh, are practically none. "I suppose unpredictability and the enormous amount of competition can be considered as drawbacks." And the money isn't too bad either. He can be seen driving around the city in his sleek Skoda Laura and while at Globosport, he earned a cool six-figure salary.
Sajdeh said that after 10 years in the industry, he was finally ready to start off on his own. "Being employed for someone else meant that I didn't always have the freedom to explore my full potential," he said.
With this new venture, he hopes to expand to international events and television properties as well.