From photography to her own event company: the journey of Avantika Bhosle
Extraordinary events just don’t happen. They require creative thinking, precise planning, and meticulous attention to detail. Whether the event is to plan a wedding, organize a birthday, anniversary celebration, baby showers, impress clients, reward your sales and management team, motivate partners, sell products, raise funds, or find new customers.
Avantika is a workaholic who doesn’t believe in a life that has been molded for you by some other person. With a jolly mood and a constant curve on her lips, she believes that if you do the work that you love, and it fulfils you, then the rest will come automatically.
She started her professional career at the growing age of 17 with photography. It is said that there is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. She had that in her photographs and with it she started her career. At that time, Avantika was pursuing BMM, which also got her very much interested in film making projects, short stories, etc. From there onward, she started taking up shoots for reality shows, live picture competition, private and corporate bodies, etc. She met a lot of people in this period with a similar interest. From photography, she transitioned into videography because ultimately if you’re a photographer you eventually somehow end up getting into videography, and she did that for about 3 years. In these three years, she came in contact with a lot of people where they suggested that since she’s already a photographer and writes quite well so why not try for social media marketing. She tried for it and passed with rainbow colours. Avantika did that for about 4 different brands out of which one was a party company, the other was a fitness portion cell and then there was a yoga instructor.
When she turned 19, this was the 2nd year of her working career and had a word with Anand Kumar, her fiancé. Anand Kumar is the person who always helped and believed in her. He was always there to build her up and never let anything tear her down. With his and her family’s support on 30th August 2019, she started an event platform called Anvi Events; they started organizing stand-up comedy open mic with the aim to provide a fair opportunity to every aspiring comedian.
A lifelong lesson
Planning events can be a challenging job; it requires endless creativity to bring professional events alive and to spice up the experience for your guests. Not to mention, event planners often face with time pressure, budget, and uncertainties. But these problems never stopped Avantika. In fact, she noticed the problem that budding artists’ face in open mics.
The open mic scenario is very different in Mumbai, Delhi and different cities. In Mumbai how it works is the comics have to bring an audience member to perform and if you don’t get the person along, then you probably don’t get enough time to perform, or sometimes you don’t even get the opportunity to perform. “The people who organize these shows are called producers, and they have all the right to give 2 minutes or 3 minutes or say 7 minutes to performances, but it depends on if you can get a person along to watch the show. And the pressure to bring an audience member affects the comic’s preparation and performance,” told Avantika to Startup Times. They even used to face time restrictions she added.
This scenario of bringing a plus 1 is because of lack of audience in the shows. She considered all these little aspects and thought that maybe she can modify this thing a little, it is actually how an open mic structure works but as someone said rules are meant to be broken. She started organizing stand-up comedy open mic and removed time restriction and plus 1 scenario out of the entire open mic performances. “The biggest disadvantage of bringing an audience member with you is that suppose if you bring your one friend and take him along in 10 different performances, he’s already heard your jokes so after some time he won’t react to your jokes which really affects the performance of comics.”
Avantika is a girl whose mind is full of strategies and a soul full of energy. She knows how to go with the flow. Keeping one strategy in her mind she started curating these open mic events at different venues thinking that maybe different venues might bring different feedback. In her ‘everything should be perfect’ recipe, she added the final ingredient when she started calling different comics at every open mic because in that manner, she could also tell her audience that they are not going to watch the same person again. She made sure that her lineup is a bit of fusion where their audience gets to see something different and out of the box every time.
Before the lockdown happened, she organized around 15 events out of which 13 were houseful and received great attention.
The global pandemic has massively hit the economy. A survey has revealed that about 38 percent of startups have run out of funds and 30 percent have 1-3 months of cash left, indicating the severe impact of lockdown on fledgling businesses. However, few startups are going against the tide and doing well in the recession-stricken period. And Anvi Events is one of them.
When the lockdown happened, they were quite worried about how to take things ahead because it was their growing period. It was fairly like 8 months and Avantika was in a deep yet concerning thought that it was the time when they needed to expand but got stuck with this lockdown. But she fought this battle like a warrior and never let anything come in her way. She started a little one-month off to observe what other people were doing and how they can make themselves better. Avantika got a mind-blowing idea of starting an Instagram live series. They used to give their Instagram ID and password to the comics where they could go live anytime and anywhere. Since they were a new budding artist, they cannot pressurize them to perform their material upright because it’s very difficult for a new artist, so they used to play games over these live sessions. And this strategy killed two birds with one stone, the comics got visibility from their page and at the same time their page also kept on being out there.
Realizing that the audience can’t really interact with the artist in live series they thought of shifting to the platform like Zoom or Google Meet where people will be able to see the performance and performers can now know how their audience is reacting which was not possible on Instagram live. She started organizing regular basis open mics and did about 23 open mics in a month.
This is the journey of Avantika Bhosle from a photographer to social media handler to her own event company. “To end on that note, I would just like to say that I’m 21, and I’m trying to grab the maximum I can. I have always been a workaholic and in my entire college life I have never been to any party, clubbing, resorts or anything because I was always with my work and that’s what I love to do.”
A big challenge, huge reward
Part of the charm of event planning is the uncertainty and how it always pushes you out of your comfort zone. It requires a great deal of creativity but the reward is huge. Avantika told Startup Times about another unforgettable experience in her career that paid off.
There have been many challenges because of the struggle between college and work life. But the major struggle was not on the outside but something inside like her family. Other things may change one, but we start and end with the family but one thing can never that is "family"; we may have our differences, but nothing’s more important than family. Her dad like other major Indian parents used to believe in a secured job like that of an Engineer or Doctor. His interest was majorly in criminal law and wanted her to pursue something like that. For him to adjust to her ideas or style of working took a lot of time.
“We had a lot of clashes regarding whether it is going to work out or not? What are we both (Avantika and her fiancé) trying to do? But eventually he realized that yes, this guy is the person who is actually making her daughter independent, that is when he started believing in him. But again, to believe in me took a lot of time. It took about two to two and half years to convince him and now when he reads articles about me and sees me working, he understands that yes, this field can generate some amount of income for me and that it’s okay if I didn’t pursue criminal law.”
The first time when she actually heard her father saying that he is proud of her was the time when she got herself an iPhone at the age of 18. That time she paid on EMI but a few months back she again got herself an iPhone which she paid in one shot which her father was very proud of. These were the times he said that “yes I’m proud of you beta”.
The future of event planning
Avantika never looks 4 years or 5 years down the line because she believes that you never know what fate has written for you. She doesn’t make big plans or think like what Anvi Event is going to be. But yes, she does consider pre-planning and scheduling, not only her events but also her daily routine. Being very honest and hilarious, she told Startup Times that if you will ask me that where I see myself in next 5 months or something about me that what I want to do or where do I see myself, I would have plans for it, but I’m a very secretive person until I put it out on my event platform.
To answer our question she said, “I’m sure that I would take Anvi Event to a place where I might get a call from a big personality saying that please organize an event for us, we are ready to give you the budget if you just do your thing. So I’m sure I’m going to reach that point sometime soon hopefully with the well-wishers being around.”
With 3 years of combined event planning experience, what do Avantika think are the most important qualities of a successful event planner?
“Responsibility, communication skills and balance,” she said without hesitation.
On asking for some words of advice for young entrepreneurs she said that her platform is for budding artists and talents. Likewise, there are a lot of juniors from her school and college whom she knows that they want to pursue different things, but they are not very confident. A message to these young talented minds and artists is that life will put you to all these challenges because life wants to see that whether you’re committed or not for it and all you need to do is put in time and effort without getting distracted because your dedication matters the most. Just stay focused, you can pull two lives. It's complicated but it's fun, and it doesn’t matter even if you end up in a 9-5 job because if you love it then it doesn’t matter whether you are working for yourself or other companies.