Wizcraft founder Sabbas Joseph’s humble speech of acceptance for ‘BW Applause Person of the Year’ award

At the recent e4m BW Applause Conclave and Awards held in Mumbai on 6 October, Sabbas Joseph, the pioneering founder of India’s largest event agency Wizcraft was awarded the title of BW Applause Person of the Year 2017. His humble acceptance speech that he delivered to a full-house of event professionals reveals everything that makes him the ultimate title-holder.


As an event manager, one has conceptualized several award ceremonies. In my head I could play the scene perfectly every time….the nomination AV plays, the celebrities announce the winner and trumpets blow, the drums roll and the lights and cameras zoom in on the winner who is shocked, overwhelmed…reaches out to hug his loved ones, select seniors and colleagues… and then with great pride lunges onto stage to receive the trophy- “a symbol of success achieved against all odds”.

In all the times that I played out this scene in my head, the winner was a film star, business magnate, a celebrity, a world leader….! Never was it an Event Manager or Me!

Being honoured as “BW Applause Person of the Year” is a distinction that has considerable meaning to me on multiple fronts:

In honouring me, the BW Businessworld group honours every event manager who chose this gritty, passion-driven profession, and everyone who has contributed to making our industry the success story that it has become.

I’d like to thank my wife Punam and my children Rohan and Rhea for their sacrifices over the years and especially for not giving up on me, despite my not being available when they needed me.

In honouring me, the BW team honours the story of Wizcraft and especially my founder-business partners Wiz Andre Timmins and Wiz Viraf Sarkari and their respective families (Geetika, Sona and children) for sharing the load, pushing forward on this challenging journey and sticking together against all odds.

33 years of togetherness. Our story of friendship is worth a few books and movies. We’ve argued, discussed, found resolution and kept inching forward always finding a new summit, renewed zeal & energy and a fresh dream. While I do hope that we continue to move forward, I pray that our success should inspire generations to follow similar paths and find their dreams.

I’d like to say a special thank you to all the Wizzes who have shared our dream and have partnered us over the years. Some have moved on to start their own outfits but they continue to have the same zeal and undying Wiz spirit. To the Wizcraft alumni, Thank You.

To our clients, who believed and invested in our efforts, to the competition and worthy friends, “Thank you for pushing us to achieve more. Your participation in this climb to the top has inspired us to go beyond”.

In honouring me as the Person of the Year, BW especially honours my friends from the event industry and EEMA- our national event industry association. Over the past few years, with the support of the industry’s best leaders we’ve managed to work together and in unison have presented a strong case before the government and the industry ecosystem. We left our competitive embattled nature outside the room and found cause to work in harmony as One. Together, we’ve changed the course of the industry, given its growth trajectory and admirable character. The work done on women’s empowerment, health and safety and youth empowerment have set high standards that our related industries will be forced to follow.

It’s a long list of persons that I genuinely need to thank hence I’m not singling out a few. I’d like to thank every member, every leader who took time to work with me on the National Advisory Council, the National Executive and the National Working committee. While the glory and trophy may be resting in my hands at the moment, I would like to hold the trophy high only for all of us to see and share the same glory. Thank you for believing.

“The BW Person of the Year” honour belongs to all of us in this room and beyond. We are the round pegs in the square hole, those who chose to live differently and create stories for generations to emulate. May our legacy be rich in values and our work be a celebration of our life.

Together, we are the Persons of the Year.

For a person like me to be honoured like this, I can only say: impossible is nothing.

While I remain humbled and overwhelmed, I’d like to say a special thank you to BW Applause, the BW Businessworld group, Exchange4media, Yamini, Noor, Anurag and Nawal for their support and belief in the event and experience industry.

Thank you.

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