#PowerWomen: Turn Your Passion into Your Profession and Live to Inspire, Says Reema Sanghavi

Industry Watch | February 17, 2021 | Interview

PowerWomen Reema Sanghavi Maximus MICE and Media Solutions Pinkathon

Continuing the EVENTFAQS #PowerWomen series in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, we talk to Reema Sanghavi, Managing Director, Maximus MICE & Media Solutions and co-founder of Pinkathon, about her journey in the events industry.

With over a decade of experience in the events industry, Reema Sanghavi believes good delivery comes from years of experience. At Maximus, she aims to offer peace of mind that comes with having a solid, secure and professional organization dedicated to creating exemplary productions and events.

Here, she shares insights on her entry into the events industry, challenges she faces, position of women in the industry, priorities at work, advice for young women entering the events sector and more.

I had come to Bombay to do my MBA. I worked with a call centre and I didn't like the culture there. So I actually moved out and sought employment in a company called Platinum events. I worked with Platinum, which is Sushil Wadhwa's company, for a year-and-a-half and then I met Milind Soman and Harshad Chavan, and they actually offered me a partnership, and we started a company together. That is how Maximus came about in 2008. Today, it's thriving and growing. It started out as a MICE company, and in about four years, the company incepted Pinkathon, which is Asia's largest run for women today, nine years since it began. We ventured into various things such as events, exhibitions, weddings, all of it put together. But my start was with Platinum, and then I started my own company, Maximus.

In our industry, 50% of the workforce is women. But the number of women in senior leadership or running an entrepreneurial venture is very few. We need more women on top, for sure. That's where I think the gap is. Respect for women based on skillset is very important; I don't know if women are really taken seriously and that's the problem. What we need to do is - both in the context of men and women, because I would not like to have a conversation confined to one gender -is empower them by giving them opportunities, based on skillset and not gender. There needs to be more coaching, more mentoring of women in offices, so that they can achieve more. We need to allow women to lead major initiatives and support them through it by empowering them; that’s really missing in our industry and there should be no such gap. There should be equality in what men and women do, which is currently missing.

The advice that I would give is, turn your passion into your profession. If you're passionate about something, you are really going to be happy and satisfied when you work on it, and if you're going to be happy and satisfied, you're going to achieve excellence. The other thing that I would say is, whatever you do in life, be it events or anything else, tell yourself I am going to do this and I'm going to inspire someone by doing this’. So, live to inspire. This is very important because when you do something with a purpose in your head, that every soul you touch, and everything you do is to inspire someone, you know that you're going to leave a mark behind. Then, you will start creating value in whatever you do and will find you make the money as well, and all of it will fall in place. I really advise people to turn their passion into profession and live to inspire.

In the lockdown, people were confined and they were unable to emote, which is what I felt two months into the lockdown. Not talking to anybody, not meeting new people, even I was absolutely starved for conversation. That's when I said, maybe I need to converse with a lot of people and the way I can do that is with a digital talk. People needed to emote about things that they were not talking about, to have free flow, uninhibited and unfiltered conversations - thus Unmute happened, to have quality conversations. It became a passion project, really, because when I started talking to people, I realized everybody was probably going through the same thing. Unmute became bigger and bigger from there. Today, even corporates are connecting with me. I've done about six shows with corporates already through mute, and it's going great. Someone wants to sponsor the show now. We still bring about quality, unfiltered conversations and they are very topical chats. For example, someone spoke about obsession, Kubbra Sait spoke about competition. Someone even spoke about being molested thrice in her life. It is very enlightening. Watch out for Season 2.

During the pandemic, we had to let go of a few people. We shrunk literally to 50%. The one thing that I look forward to is bringing back my entire team with full pay, because we're back in business. During the lockdown, I started my own edtech venture, which is called Walk Academy. I also came up with Unmute, which is very, very exciting, and we're going to foray into weddings in a big manner.

I think it would definitely be the world's first marathon in Greece. I would love to see what the world's first marathon looked like today, after creating Pinkathon, which is such a rage, such a phenomenon with women. I would also want to see what the Fire Festival, which was a big hoax, would have looked like in reality if it was executed.

Next in our #PowerWomen series in the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, is Reema Sanghavi, MD, Maximus MICE and co-founder, Pinkathon, talking about her journey in the events industry.

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