I Want To Be Known As An Entertainer: Nitish Kamdar

In this exclusive interview as part of our ongoing series, Nitish Kamdar reflects on overcoming challenges, the essential qualities for a successful emcee, industry trends among more

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As part of the ongoing series, ‘India’s Most Popular Emcees’, in an exclusive interaction with Everything Experiential, Emcee Nitish Kamdar shares insights into his journey and expertise in event hosting. Kamdar discusses his diverse preparation methods for different events, emphasising the importance of research and understanding the audience. He reflects on overcoming challenges, the essential qualities for a successful emcee, industry trends and offers valuable tips for aspiring hosts among much more.

Excerpts:

What inspired you to become an emcee?

Since my childhood, I always liked the limelight and I have always been on the stage, be it playing Gandhi Ji or other roles. I was famous in my school as Gandhi Ji and I used to love the attention. Letting the world know that there is a guy called Nitish Kamdar who lives and who thrives was the whole agenda back then.

I was working in PR and communication, I used to organise press conferences for corporates and Bollywood celebrities and there came a time when there was no emcee. I had to run the entire press conference and that's how I started enjoying it. Then I used to organise and host press conferences.

How do you prepare for different types of events?

I have bought equity in an investment firm and now I have a team which helps me do the research. Let's say if it is a listed company, then I get all the updates and I sit with my team and they give me information as to what is happening in different sectors. That is for corporate events. I also see to it that I do a little bit of research on my end and that's how I like to present.

When it comes to team building activities and engagement activities, a few years ago, I stumbled upon a team of psychologists who are into brain activities and intellectual activities. It is about the cognitive thought process, so there are more than a thousand engagement activities and they are called the brain workshop. I sat down with these psychologists and I understood how things work to utilise all these activities.

My thought process and psychology work in such a way that I'm a PR guy. Let's say an event is happening, my activities run around in such a way that the world gets to know through the audience that is sitting over there that something like this is happening. Usually, everybody is on a one-track mind and people have stopped thinking out of the box. This is where it is an emcee’s job to activate the audience on all these levels.

When it comes to weddings, I'm a Gujarati raised by Marwadis, Maharashtrians and Punjabis. I see all these cultures coming together more and more and there's so much to tap. You can tap into every relationship. I see to it that I sit with them, get to know the family and the whole idea is that there are people in Sangeet who are dancing on the stage. Elders generally refrain from this, I see to it that there's a balance between engaging the couple, the audience which is not performing and the friends and family which are performing.

What challenges have you faced while hosting events and how did you overcome them?

Initially, I fumbled up, I goofed up and I didn't do my research on time. That time, a lot of people fired me left, right and centre. I feel that more than the theory, the learning is on the job. Initially, there were a lot of issues, but jumping out of the aeroplane and making the parachute on the way down, that worked well for me.

In your opinion, what are the essential qualities of a successful emcee?

Eloquence is a must. Their reflexes have to be good and they have to be witty in a positive way. A long time ago, I was hosting a friend's baby shower and somehow it just came out of my mind that hey, these guys are kidding us. The word “kidding” is used in a different format. This kind of healthy wit is always needed. For that, I feel that one should watch a lot of stand-up comedy and game shows because that's where you will get the timing and the anecdotes. Then you can use your style and present it in your own way.

What trends do you see in the event hosting industry and how do you adapt to them?

For the last three or four years, I have seen a lot of corporates taking their employees, dealers and their clients on international trips.

When it comes to weddings, you need new things because every family attends four or five weddings per wedding season. They need something new now and then. It's about how you use all the basic games and turn them into wedding games and wedding activities so that both families come together. It's all about the research and there are many emcees out there who are doing fabulous work and showcasing it on social media which is helpful.

Do you have any tips for aspiring emcees who want to excel in the field?

Watch a lot of good content, Vir Das, for example, the content is so good, it is well researched. More than anything else, be aware. Be with your friends and crack lame jokes, but see to it that you build a lot of camaraderie and then bring this to your event. That's how you become friends with the clients and that's how things work better for you. Always give it your 110 per cent.

Lastly, what legacy do you hope to leave in the event-hosting industry?

Recently I was doing a lot of back-to-back events and there was not a single kind of event which I was not doing, be it sports, be it television, be it corporates, weddings or team building. That's when a junior emcee came and told me the word around the industry is that Nikhil Kamdar “works”. I would like to keep it that way. I don't want to be labelled as the wedding anchor, a corporate anchor or a team-building expert. I just want to be known as an entertainer and an engager. I want to be open to everything because there are so many things you can learn from weddings and incorporate in corporate shows and the other way around too.



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