Organiser of birthday parties and events, Sameer Sawant turned entrepreneur because his job was not paying enough. Getting into doing party decorations, return gifts, arrangements, etc, and event management was a good career choice, he says, because of the tremendous scope
How did you get into this particular business in Goa?
It’s been seven years since I am organising parties and events. I entered the field at the age of 26. Initially, after completing my education and like all youngsters, I started looking for a job and took up employment at a local firm. Although I liked working I was not happy because the salary was too little. After some time, I started looking out for another job but the job scene was bad with local firms paying poorly and the same situation prevailed everywhere. A friend suggested that I get into event management and related services. And after much thought I decided to do it. In the early days, my family was not pleased that I wanted to leave a steady job and do business. Now that I am stable and doing well they are very happy with my decision.
Your toughest task in setting it up.
The initial period of setting up the business was the toughest. I went through really difficult times and that is because I had to start from scratch. I had no manpower or vehicles. In fact, nothing at all as my infrastructure was nil and everything had to be hired. Getting my first customer was easy because it was on a friend’s recommendation and also perhaps the second customer. But after that, getting customers was very difficult. I must say that I went through a very bad phase and encountered a steep learning curve before I settled in business.
Have you achieved all your goals? If not what remains to be done?
There is a lot of scope in this field and therefore whatever I have achieved is less than what can be done. So I have a lot to do.
Your best business moment.
Good business moments are aplenty. It occurs whenever a client is happy with my work. Getting repeat customers is gratifying and many of them are my previous clients.
Critical elements for success in your line of work.
It is service industry and according to me the critical element of success is ‘deliver on promise’. Once you agree to the client’s requirements you must fulfill them or inform in advance and get the specifications clear. Quality and sincerity are also very important. It is an industry that demands running around, lots of trouble shooting and hard work.
Your advice to youngsters.
My advice to Goan youth is, do not wait for a government job or for employment only in offices. Self employment has a lot of scope especially in the field of event management which requires lot of people at different levels. Goa is an entertainment place and any event manager will tell you that artistes like DJs, comperes, clowns, magicians, decorators, etc, are in short supply. We pay Rs 5,000 per night for each entertainer and because of lack of local talent have to get people from outside the state. So many youth spend years waiting for white-collared jobs when they could be using utilizing their own skill to be self employed.
State one aspect of Goa which has changed for better or worse over the years.
Lots of things have changed for the better in Goa such as infrastructure, opportunities, etc. On the other hand, outsiders have taken over more than half the jobs in every industry. But that is because Goans are not taking interest in doing anything new so you cannot blame outsiders.
If not a businessman, what would you have chosen as a profession? Why?
I was happy working in an office but because the pay was poor I decided to do something of my own. Today I am very happy in running my own business and cannot think of working for somebody else. I am cent per cent sure that I will never go back to doing a job even if it pays me well. I will always be in business.