Shriti Chhajed of BookEventz.com tells us why she started an e-venture that helps you plan your event with ease
BookEventz.com is a consolidated online platform to book party venues, event planners and in short everything related to an event you wish to host! The portal helps you save time and money while easing the entire event planning process. Shriti Chhajed, the entrepreneur behind this concept speaks to SHEROES about her venture today.
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Indore into a business-family. I completed my formal education and qualified as an Electronics and Telecommunications engineer from SGSITS. I pursued my MBA from the SP Jain Institute in Dubai & Singapore. I always wanted to start a restaurant, I worked on a few restaurant ideas, a theme based restaurant, chai point with hobby ideas. With the interest in this industry I was trying to figure out an idea which could be scalable, more technology based and where not a lot of legal formalities were required. After working with Tech Mahindra and HCL for 5 years and gaining a good mix of marketing and tech experience, I decided it was time to give my long-standing dream a chance.
How and why did the idea of BookEventz.com come about?
Having worked on several business ideas; all related to hotel industry, it gave me a chance to meet a lot of people from the industry. I figured that booking various needs for an event is a big "unsolved" problem. In the past, I myself had actively participated in the planning of various annual day functions of companies I have worked for and also for my own wedding. I knew that if we came up with a convenient solution, people would use it. In September 2012, we founded UrbanRestro, a first-of-its-kind venue-booking portal that was aimed at solving India’s tedious event-booking process. We started with reservations for smaller groups and took it to bigger party bookings and now do conferences and weddings as well. The business has shaped up in the last 3 years and is now a complete event booking solution where users can book venues to caterers to artists, decorators and even event planners. Today the Company is in 11 cities with 3000 venues and vendors and having served more than 30,000 customer needs / events. We have rebranded ourselves as BookEventz.com.
What is a typical "day at work" like for you?
When you are in a startup you are working 24*7, ideas keep coming; you are always in that discussion mode. The day starts with checking the numbers for the day before, finishing my To-do list, checking the team's agenda, taking out few hours to think and work by myself, sitting with the team discussing marketing activities, checking each product's development, discussing new features...
When setting up, what were your initial challenges?
Focusing on a very niche solution to a very small target audience and proving it was useful to them. We were doing too many things at the start and then realized we had to focus on one solution first.
What future plans / ambitions do you have for yourself and the venture?
I want to create something which people in generations to come will remember and use. We are trying to aggregate and bring event related service providers under one roof so people can select their vendors online. Having successfully established the model in Mumbai, in the next 12 months our target will be to increase our presence in other cities serving 20,000 customers doing 1000 bookings a month. We want to be with our customers not just till the booking stage but till their events happen and we will be coming out with products to solve their pain points along the way.
On a personal front; I want to travel around the world. I have been to more than 30 countries and still counting...
When it comes to entrepreneurship, what are the top 3 things that help one succeed?
Readiness to work for each and every task if need be. The three things I think are Passion, Self-belief and Adaptability.
Any thoughts you would like to leave our readers with?
I would say having a great team is very important, and having all your employees think of the company as their own helps. Even if you can have 5 such people in your team, things will percolate. Also if you enjoy what you do and do not give up, things fall in place automatically.