Mazhar Nadiadwala belongs to the Nadiadwala family, which has created some very memorable Bollywood films over the years. With more than 20 years of experience, Mazhar is Managing Director of Dome India, which is into the business of premium event venues along with organizing, conceptualizing and curating world-class events of all scales.
With Dome, he wants to give India an iconic venue of international recognition and to create new benchmarks through highly curated experiential events, making the venue a destination in itself.
Mazhar has traversed the spectrum — from producing films for his home banner to producing television content with Cineyug and now creating events at Dome, his contribution to the entertainment industry has been very significant.
I caught up with Mazhar Nadiadwala for a brief chat about Dome@NSCI and his views on where the events industry is heading.
How was the year 2018 for Dome? Which were the key events held at Dome@NSCI and ones curated by Dome in-house?
2018 was a great year for Dome Entertainment, during which, we have successfully partnered with a number of renowned brands in the industry. We hosted several widely appreciated marquee events for these brands, besides the ones created and hosted at Dome@NSCI itself. Some of the most prominent events that Dome@NSCI hosted last year are as follows:
TEDx Gateway, hosted at Dome@NSCI in February 2018, had a range of eminent speakers in attendance, sharing their thoughts and insights, and sparking conversations, such as Dr Bronwyn King, Dr Arun Sundaram, Ricki Kej, Darlene Koldenhoven, Jagdish Mahapatra, and Dr Anne Madden.
The 63rd Filmfare Awards was hosted by Dome@NSCI on 20th February, 2018, with countless members of the Indian film industry coming together to celebrate the best of Bollywood, such as Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, and Parineeti Chopra, among others.
The sixth season of Pro Kabaddi League was held at Dome@NSCi between 9th and 15th November 2018, marking the fourth consecutive year for the league to be hosted at the venue.
The third edition of Lux Golden Rose Awards, conceptualised and executed by Cineyug Group Of Companies, was held on November 18th, 2018, at Dome@NSCI, SVP Stadium, to commemorate 90 years of Lux and celebrate the power and beauty of women. The show was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan.
The grand finale night of Femina Miss India 2018 was hosted by Dome@NSCI, on 19th June, 2018, with several eminent personalities like Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, Malaika Arora, Neha Dhupia, Kunal Kapoor, and Irfan Pathan, acting as judges. While Karan Johar and Ayushman Khurana were the hosts for the evening, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Jacqueline Fernandez set the stage on fire with their dazzling performances.
A few of the original events curated by Dome Entertainment and hosted at Dome@NSCI, were:
The third edition of Dome Christmas Carnival, Mumbai’s biggest Christmas festival, took place at Dome@NSCI on December 25th, 2018. Beloved cartoon characters from Nickelodeon, such as SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and Rudra, interacted with children of all ages, who were also mesmerised by the numerous activities and rides, along with spellbinding performances by drummers and a Santa parade.
Dome Dandiya Nites 2018, was held on 12th to 14th October, at Dome@NSCI, comprising incredible performances by famous artists like Ramzat, Dileish, Tejas, Kaushal, Aarohi, and Ekta, and a wide range of delicious food, including both traditional Gujarati delicacies and modern ones.
Which according to you are the key challenges of the events industry? How does Dome overcome those challenges?
Two of the biggest challenges that the event industry faces today involve getting the maximum number of people to know about an event, and the proposed budget not matching the vision for it. In addition to that, obtaining sponsorships also continues to remain a major challenge, with several event organisers struggling with the adoption of innovative technologies, as well.
As a result, crowd quality often takes a backseat, since several attendees are at the venue for free, making regulation incredibly difficult.
We try to ensure that each and every event organised or hosted by us is planned meticulously from the very start, taking into account each and every detail, as minor as it may be. We also make it a point to always stay updated with the changing trends in the sector, incorporating the latest and most advanced technology available, to mesmerise and captivate the audience.
How has the event industry evolved over time? What led the evolution?
The Indian event industry has come a long way from what it used to be, even just a decade ago. Today, events are no longer just a form of entertainment, but in fact, companies and brands look at them as a marketing platform that can help them garner considerable attention and reach their customers directly.
Countless new intellectual properties (IP) are being developed every day, going beyond just music, like Musical Theatre, eSports and more, which are gaining massive traction in the market. Several established brands are also lending their names to many of these IPs, because of the enormous ROI that they help generate.
This evolution of the events industry has largely been a result of the technological growth and revolution taking place in the country, over the last few years. Riding high on this wave of progress, and the very outlook, potential, and scope of events has changed completely, giving way to a brand new future for the sector.
What have been your key learnings from the events industry, and of course, from your personal journey?
I belong to a family that has been an integral part of the entertainment industry for over 60 years. I have been fortunate enough to personally witness the many changing facets of the sector, embracing various stages of evolution to reach where it is today. A similar growth trajectory is reflective in the Indian events industry, which is constantly evolving, and is expected to cross a valuation of Rs 10,000 Cr by 2020-21. Owing to this, nearly every sector in the economy today looks at events with a renewed interest, as it has become one of the most effective mediums to communicate with their audiences.
During the two decades that I have spent being a part of this industry, I have not only witnessed its remarkable growth, but also its journey towards becoming more organised, even creating a name for itself internationally, through several innovative concepts and efficient execution.
However, there is still a long way to go, and through Dome Entertainment, I hope to help bring about a completely new face of the Indian events industry.
Which are the key trends you for the year 2019?
One of the two key trends that I predict for the year 2019, is a massive increase in collaborations, with several major and smaller brands coming together to create new experiences for the audience.
The second trend is the influx of cutting edge technology in the sector, which will finally find widespread adoption in the industry, which in turn would, redefine the very meaning of an experiential event, for years to come.
Have you seen a growth of brands and marketers to associate with events? If yes, what are the specific trends seen by Dome?
Brands and marketers have indeed started looking at events as a platform to not only reach their audiences directly, but also interact with them to gain deeper insights into their minds and expectations. Due to which, a plethora of brands today are collaborating with artists as well as other brands, to create a memorable experience for all of their attendees.
Meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) tourism has also grown immensely in the last few years, and 2019 will only see much more development in the domain.
Product launches, earlier were a much smaller affair, but they too have grown manifold in scale, and are fast gaining traction in the domestic as well as international market. From mobile phones to luxury car launches, these events are rapidly becoming an extremely glamorous and exorbitant phenomenon, hence taking the industry by storm.
What role does Digital play in the events space today?
The digital medium, on the back of the Government’s push, has become an extremely important part of the events space today. Not only does digital media help reach a wide range of audience directly before but also after the event. Social media platforms also play an important role in helping create excitement and publicity for it. In fact, social media today has immense potential to create a call-to-action, garnering improved promotion and awareness regarding the event.
Since communication on the digital medium is possible both ways, between brands and consumers, it allows organisers or companies to directly communicate with interested audience, and even answer any questions that they might have. Owing to the organic nature of the medium, the audience, in turn, also helps improve knowledge and awareness regarding the event, through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook posts among others.
What are your expectations for a change in event industry in the coming years? What according to you will change?
Perhaps the most obvious change in the event industry, we can expect to see, is with regard to how organised the sector will become.
As the industry expands, it will become more and more difficult for unorganised players to compete. This will either lead them to tie-up with larger, more professional organisations, relook at their business operations, or shut down entirely. With more brands indulging in events as a marketing and publicity exercise, and wedding budgets going through the roof, the pressure for the events industry to organise and professionalise itself is massive. So, a change in this direction is imminent.
We can also expect to see increasing government infrastructural support for the sector, as well as reduced regulation.
What are the various career options in the event industry? What would your advice for youngsters be?
The event industry has countless opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Whether it is in the form of event planning, social media, BTL marketing, venue management, catering, photography and videography, or intellectual property creation, anyone who is a creative thinker and can ideate, and is willing to work at it, can be extremely successful.
My advice to youngsters hoping to break into the industry would be to think outside the box, and always focus on doing the best job possible. If you stick to quality and focus on your customer’s needs, success will follow suit.