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We Want To Become A Unified Voice That Is Heard Across The Industry: Samit Garg, President, EEMA

The newly elected president recently spoke to BW Applause and everythingexperiential.com about his vision for EEMA and more.

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Samit Garg, Co-Founder & Director, E Factor was recently elected unopposed as the new President of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA).

The EEMA elections 2022 were announced on 6th September 2022. The EEMA secretariat commissioned a third party to determine an effective election process whereby voters could cast their ballot from any part of the world in confidence and in total secrecy. 

The newly elected president recently spoke to BW Applause and everythingexperiential.com about his vision for EEMA and more.

Excerpts:

What was your first reaction after getting elected as EEMA's new president, unopposed?

The reaction was “Oh My God”, because it is not easy. I have seen Late Michael Menezes, Brian Tellis, Sabbas Joseph, Sanjoy Roy and Roshan Abbas work closely, and I have been part of the EEMA ecosystem since its inception, it’s a huge responsibility.

One does feel happy that you have been given this responsibility , people think you may be competent to a certain extent, but having said that, one needs to deliver at the end of the day.

As you take on the new role, what are your top priorities ?

There are 30 agendas that we need to pursue as an industry body. But there are four or five key things that we need to focus on. The most important one is to become more visible, we want to become a unified voice that is heard across the industry.

We want to deliberate and liaise and talk to the government, both at the centre and the state level so that they know the value we bring to businesses. 

Every industry has some ministry that they fall under, but unfortunately it's not the case with us and we will keep raising the issue on priority.

We also want some position in policy making, some of this was started by Sanjoy Roy during his tenure. He is sitting on a few committees in FICCI, and by virtue of him being on those committees, there is an opportunity to interact further. So government engagement is a priority.

 The other major problem that the industry faces today is talent. Covid over the last two and a half years has displaced talent. The problem existed before but this pandemic just aggravated it. So talent is something that we have to work on and the skill development aspect of the government will become important in this.

Do we see EEMA adding new events, IPs to its annual calendar?

In fact EEMA has always been very active on this front, but the last two and half years have been challenging from that perspective. We were not able to execute many initiatives that we could have done otherwise.

Now that the environment has become more conducive, you will see more on-ground engagement from EEMA.

A significant part of the event industry is still operating in the unorganised way, how do you plan to address it?

It's a very relevant path of what we have to pursue. However, let’s accept that such practices will not change overnight. The good part is that there is conversation already underway to deal with this issue and this largely happens in the wedding business.

Also, this practice is mostly prevalent in smaller cities. I believe that an active process has to begin now and there are many people involved in this chain, entrepreneurs and individuals are involved, even the government is involved and we are also to be blamed to a certain extent.

It is the need of the hour to bring more transparency in our industry and the more legitimated our practices are, the better the value of our businesses will become, and so will our standing as an industry.

How are you planning to bring more associations and event companies under your fold and push your representation further?

There has been a sustained effort on that front, especially over the past four years. There was tie up with many regional associations and we are planning a few more over the next six months.

I think there is a need to relook at the prequalification of the members so that the spectrum of participation becomes wider and diverse.

What is your message for the industry peers?

I have only one message for all my friends with folded hands-this is about us, this is not about office bearers, this is not about a few select people, it's a collective responsibility.

Everybody needs to come forward and contribute and at the end of the day it's a collective effort and I seek support from everyone in this.  





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samit garg EEMA sanjoy roy Sabbas Joseph

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