We found out about Erobern Events through the Autism Awareness Marathon, an event supported by singer Shaan and Sachin Tendulkar. Vishal Sonawne, a chemical engineering undergrad, and Srini Chandrashekar, a students of environmental science, went from organizing local events to founding Erobern Events. We had a chance to have a conversation with Vishal Sonawne about his journey and asked him a few questions about Erobern Events:
Describe yourself in one sentence.
I believe in creating opportunities for myself rather than having them offered to me by someone else.
How did you come up with the name Erobern Events?
The name came up while discussing the very idea of actually starting a registered company came up and then taking it to the next level. One of my friend, who was under going a course in German, came up with the word “Erobern” – which means to conquer or win. The idea was gold as it went perfectly with what we wanted our company to represent. Also, it went well with the word “Events” which we wanted as a part of the company name, there by generating the acronym E2.
Tell us about your co-founder Srini Chandrasekhar.
We were really good friends outside Erobern Events, since our childhood days. He’s currently pursuing his Masters in Environmental Science. He’s more interested in getting the job done rather than having his name up in lights. Also coming from a non science field, he brings different, refreshing and logical expertise to the table.
How big is your team? How many freelancers and full-time employees do you have?
Currently there are 27 people working for Erobern Events in various capacities. We function through a core team which has 2 Co-founders, a content creator and 2 people who handle our marketing responsibilities. Then there is a semi-core which has people working for our audio-visuals, designing, internal logistics and data and creatives departments and others who help in core team jobs, but aren’t as actively involved. Then there are 14 of our College Ambassadors appointed to act as a link between their and neighbouring colleges and Erobern Events.
How are you funded?
The initial cost of getting the offical company status came from the savings of the founders, while the set up expenses were funded by the money donated to us by our well wishers, who wanted to see the company grow. Besides this, we are now being funded by the fees we charge for our different services which includes designing, printing, catering, audio-visuals, logistics and celebrity management we charge from our customers.
With a large number of event management companies in the market, how do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
I think our basic ideology of providing various services I mentioned above all under one roof is our ultimate selling point. Usually people hire different local contractors that not only increase the already confusion and tension but, also it digs a deeper hole in one’s pocket. Since we all are still in college learning different professional courses, we understand the mindset of a college event or festival organizer, which are our major service users, better than most of our competitors and hence we are able to cater to their requirements and needs efficiently.
How was your experience hosting the “Autism Awareness Marathon”?
It all started while I was searching potential runners for my college annual marathon. I came across Sayuri Dalvi who is a professional runner and mother of an autistic child. I was really moved to tears and inspired by the way she fighted against all the odds to reach where she has. This is when I decided to strike a conversation with her on Facebook. Upon talking to her I learnt that she helps in collecting funds by running marathons across India for Khushi, Pediatric Therapy Centre, a registered NGO that works for the cause of improving the life of children with disabilities and that the NGO was planning to organize Cause-A-Thon, an autism awareness marathon. I thought of doing my bit in helping the ngo by getting my team at Erobern Events to help them plan, execute and organize the marathon on 31st March 2013 at Bandra Kurla Complex. Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar and his family’s whole hearted support to Khushi in their work was also a mjor inspiration behinf this move. She then introduced me to the team at Khushi. We striked chords almost immediately and arranged everything for the Big day. Bollywood singing sensation Shaan was there early morning to support the event. But what made us most happy was the fact that we were in a way responsible for the smile on the faces of the children with various disabilities who were cheered all the way in their special race. A Mumbai daily, Mumbai Mirror decided to appreciate the event with a report in its paper.
What are the upcoming events you have in pipeline?
We are currently working on the execution of a concert featuring a famous Indian band, which will be the 1st in a series of like half yearly events. We have something interesting coming up for all the budding college musicians, in association with an upcoming café. Plans to get stalwarts from the music industry for this event. Besides this we are in talks with two of the biggest college festivals in Mumbai.
What do you wish you’d known before your started?
Being very frank with you, I think having a better sense of sales and marketing would’ve saved us a lot of man-hours. However, with that said, learning the same in-depth has made the journey worthwhile.
Can you convince the reader to host an event with Erobern Event in under 50 words?
Raw talent, charisma and hard work. Erobern Events will provide you with everything anyone else can, and then some. We see events as celebrations, and make sure we plan, execute and help you create some unforgettable memories.