Riyaz Sayed & Khushbu Vaid, Pentagon Events Talk About their New IP 'Chai Time In Quarantine'

Entertainment | May 6, 2020 | Interview

Pentagon Events Chai Time In Quarantine

Pentagon Events and Activations and the company that has executed events such as Times Lit Fest, multi-city events, and various marathons around the country. With the traditional on-ground events industry at a standstill, EVENTFAQS Media with Pentagon’s directors, Riyaz Sayed and Khushbu Vaid, in an exclusive interview talk about the future of the industry and their new IP, Chai Time In Quarantine. 

‘Chai Time In Quarantine’ is such a unique name, and IP. In the current deluge of live sessions, Pentagon was one of the first to begin such an initiative. How did that come to be?

We were one of the companies that foresaw the health risks of the current outbreak, and the impending lockdown. We believed that it was our duty to take preemptive measures, and closed our headquarters about a week before the government-sanctioned lockdown. This was really beneficial, as we used that time to streamline our teams and our working process as well as brainstorm innovative ways to overcome any obstacles.

For us as directors, it’s always been about making work a positive space that people are enthusiastic to come to. Inevitably, as so many of us in the industry have, we lost business, and events that we’d been working on for months got postponed in a flash. To combat negativity, we began organizing scheduled video chats, and soon realized the power of face-to-face interaction and a warm cuppa chai! That’s where Chai Time in Quarantine was born. As a team, we’ve got a wealth of information on social media and digital content – Pentagon has always believed in them as the future of the events industry. And so this was the most opportune time to combine those two beliefs. 

For Indians, “chai” is not just a beverage, it’s a feeling. It invokes comfort, positivity, and rejuvenation – everything we aim for in each season of Chai Time in Quarantine. The name has such distinct recall, that almost as soon as we brainstormed it, everyone unanimously agreed that it had to be our new digital IP’s title. 


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Tell us what kind of topics/subjects Pentagon covers in the show ‘Chai Time in Quarantine’? How does it help/benefit the viewers?  

Each season has an inference to it. Our first season was about taking that break and watching your favorite artists have a conversation. Ask your question to him/her and get to know them. We had wellness experts, actors, directors on board to talk about how they are doing in quarantine and their plans for the lockdown. It was casual yet intriguing.

The second season was in active mode. We wanted our audience to participate as well. And that’s when we called upon a fitness expert to do a workout session for us, Live! It was fun. We had a chef and an actor recreate a dish. The second season was more interactive and made the audience involved as well as engaged. And for the third season that we did was all about learning a skill. A skill you always wanted to give time but never could. 


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How was the response you received from the audience and did it surpass your expectations on introducing a new IP?

We were very happy with the rising audience for each session and each season. More so people’s engagement was important. We call ourselves an event agency, we curate experiences. We wanted our viewers to take back something from the sessions even if it’s as simple as my fav celeb shouting out my name in his session. It’s about getting your mind off the anxiety and being involved in a conversation through your screens.

Tell us about the experts you have invited at ‘Chai Time in Quarantine’ and who all we can expect next? 

We started off with Sayani Gupta and Rj Rohini. It was fun and they kept it very lively. Director Ruchi Narian all the way from Karjat joined us with Anchor Clince Varghese. Bachi Karkaria ma’am was a treat to watch. Guneet Monga with Sucharita gave us some great insights. Jasleen Royale made the show come live by playing some of her hits on guitar. And ipad magician Matt with Clince kept us glued to our screens with different tricks.

Season 2 had our host Aman talk to fitness expert Sushmita Thadhani and we did a workout with her live as our first session. We spoke to actor Shruti Seth, Celebrity chef Harsh, and actor Prit Kamani. They did different activities on our show and kept our Live audience glued to their screens. It has been an incredible learning experience to have these inspiring conversations once in two weeks. I think we tried to keep those 3 hours on a Friday, or a Saturday occupied for our viewers away from everything else. 


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Season 3 was even more fun! We had an amazing line-up. Started off with dance director Longinus Fernandes with Pooja Kanwal, then a photography session with Yash and Abhishek. We had a beautiful jamming session with singer Avanti and Electric Guitarist Abhay. Followed by hairstylist Sapna Bhawnani interacting with Nisha Shetty.  And then we ended with Director Gurmmeet Singh interacting with Actor Shweta Tripathi.

How do you see the future of the Events’ industry being affected by the pandemic? 

We believe that the events’ industry has always been, and will continue to be extremely resilient. As a profession, we’re trained to anticipate obstacles and find the optimum solutions for them. Speaking from the Pentagon's perspective, we’re dedicated to being glass-half-full about the situation and getting through it as a strong team. 

When the pandemic hit, we were all at the peak of our productivity. Maintaining that can be very difficult, but definitely not impossible. We’re looking at this time as an opportunity to tick things off that bucket list that I’m sure a lot of us have skills we’ve always wanted to acquire, team building activities that we’ve previously not had the time for, and even taking up online courses. This is a golden opportunity not just for our employees, but even for us and we intend to derive the maximum benefit from them.

EVENTFAQS Media with Pentagon’s directors, Riyaz Sayed and Khushbu Vaid, in an exclusive interview talk about the future of the industry and their new IP, Chai Time In Quarantine.

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