100 Days at EEMA: Trust, Transparency Define Us and All Our Actions, Says Roshan Abbas

Industry Watch | October 8, 2020 | Interview

Roshan Abbas EEMA

Since taking up the baton as President of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) on June 27, 2020, industry veteran Roshan Abbas has been a busy man. He is geared to carry forward the mission of the association to make EEMA more inclusive, while working towards making it a globally recognised body. 

Speaking about completing 100 days at the helm of EEMA, Abbas said, “EEMA is about leveraging the best in everyone. Trust and transparency define us and we have a pro-active team at the NEC which is committed to making us the apex body for the industry. Our actions in the last 100 days are testimony to this.”  

Taking us through the achievements and journey of EEMA so far and what he plans to attain in the future, Roshan also spoke of first coming up with SOPs for the industry, then presenting the SOPs, sharing the SOPs with the Government, and finally going out and showing people that safe events can be organised even in the middle of the pandemic.

‘Challenging, but satisfying’

“It's been challenging, but very satisfying. I think it's the most uncertain of times and to take over in a time like this is really challenging. But one thing I'm certain of is that we have the full support of everyone at EEMA. The second thing is that we have a really good team at the NEC. I like doing things according to the SOPs, and processes, etc., and it's good to see all of them take to it. So, that's challenging, yet satisfying, because I think we did set out to achieve a lot, and I think we've achieved most of it,” said Abbas.

To start off, Abbas did a survey with all EEMA members. “My slogan was ‘Har Baat Ek Sath’. So, with this survey, we had everyone put down their objectives and from it, we clearly understood that ‘time to open events’ was the priority for most of us,” stated Abbas.

Apart from figuring out solutions for COVID times, spreading unity and positivity in EEMA was top priority for Abbas. “So EEMA started having regular dialogues with people, spoke individually to the artistes community, to members, past committee members… We then started weekly updates for all members,” Abbas explained. 

Progress on multiple fronts

EEMA’s other achievements during Abbas’ 100 days include standardising a virtual event billing template, and educating the industry through webinars, wherein EEMA gave people a timely solution for a need; a COVID Task Force which created the 300+ page detailed COVID SOPs for doing safe events, activating a government interaction committee along with regional members; and showcasing EEMA as a body and moving towards industry recognition. “We've currently presented our case in terms of why safe events should be opened as well as emphasising size and scale of our industry to various ministries. From the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Department of Culture in the Delhi government to Aditya Thackeray to Anil Deshmukh in Maharashtra to a list of people who we met, EEMA needs to be a lot more visible,” Abbas said. Getting EEMA members to connect through roundtables to know one another better and create business opportunities; working with hotel chains to get some standardization and perks for EEMA members also were his initiatives.

“Of course, there was a slightly thorny issue too - IPRS had put out some rates for virtual events. We created a small team led by Sabbas Joseph our ex-President along with Tarsem Mittal, Brian Tellis and myself and had multiple meetings with stakeholders of the music fraternity. We are trying once and for all to explore in depth, all rates, rationalization, whether it is televised events, streamed events, virtual events, or on ground events, Abbas said, adding that EEMA is not just for doing the good, pleasant things but also to take on the tough work.

Future initiatives

On EEMA’s future initiatives, Abbas said, “EEMA is going to be focusing on a large digital property to bring digital life experiences to the world. We want to be thought leaders. As I had clearly indicated, earlier, I want to see EEMA as a globally recognized body in the next one year. In the next five years, we should be on the global scale, Indian companies should be bidding for global events.”

In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Roshan Abbas talks about completing 100 days as EEMA President, and his vision that Indian companies should be bidding for global events in 5 years.

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