#WomenInPower: Be Original, Be Confident & Be Patient - Pooja Ghotage, Founder, Castle Rock Events

Industry Watch | March 5, 2024 | Feature

WomenInPower Pooja Ghotage Castle Rock Events International Women’s Day

In the run-up to International Women’s Day on March 8, EVENTFAQS Media brings to you #WomenInPower - a series of interviews with leading women professionals of the Events & Experiential Industry.

Here we talk to Pooja Ghotage Sitani, a visionary and avid reader, who founded Castle Rock Events at the age of 24, driven by her passion for design and storytelling. Disenchanted by impersonal weddings, she aimed to craft bespoke experiences that honor each couple's unique journey. Inspired by the scenic beauty of Castle Rock village, their ethos centers on creating personalized, pretty, fresh, clean, and classic events that resonate with individual stories.

In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS Media, Pooja Ghotage Sitani, Founder, Castle Rock Events shares insights into her methods for inspiring more women to pursue entrepreneurship, thoughts on sustaining support and empowerment for women in both workplace environments and beyond.

Q. Take us through your journey as an entrepreneur in the event and experiential industry? What inspired you to start your own venture?

I was a 24-year-old engineer on leave in Goa from my work in Bombay. I was preparing for the GMAT because I wanted to study abroad for my MBA. I had some free time and thought that starting something on my own would look good on my college applications. I'd always been interested in the events sector, and after managing the event management committee for VIT University's student festivals, I realised I had a strong desire to work in events. When I chose to start, my father encouraged me to get an office, form a team, and establish the firm professionally. And that's how Castle Rock Events came to be, and it's been six years of pure bliss. I abandoned my intentions to pursue an MBA after discovering my genuine passion for designing spaces.

Q. How can we encourage more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles in their career?

I believe that women's representation in our sector is equal to, if not greater than, that of men. We are in the business of building spaces and experiences, and I feel that women have that characteristic inherent in them. I see a lot of young, talented girls joining the field who are all intelligent, imaginative, and creative. Over the years, I've only seen this transformation as beneficial. I would like to see more women in production, florals, and technicals, though. I believe our profession has come a long way toward providing enough possibilities for women in design and planning. Women are spending as much time at the table as men, which is a success for the industry. I merely wish and hope that we may now broaden these boundaries to include additional categories connected to events and weddings.

Q. If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

A historic moment that I wish I could’ve seen live? More than a particular moment I would’ve loved to see the active years of Indira Gandhi as a leader. I feel that even today she is the most ambitious woman to be born in India and I would’ve loved to see her work through a time when gender equality was not even spoken about in our country.

Q. Finally, with International Women's Day approaching, what does this day mean to you personally, and how do you think we can continue to support and empower women in the workplace and beyond?

My advice for young women entering the events industry. Be original - Take inspiration, but create unique concepts. Be confident - Don’t be afraid to explore the unexplored. Be patient - there will be failures and learnings, so embrace them all with grace. The industry is tough, so you have to work hard and be disciplined. You don't have to make compromises or choices based on any perceived expectations/limitations of what women should do with their lives. Find people who believe in you. Find people to believe in. Always believe you deserve big things. It is not an easy industry for any gender, so be sure about entering the industry, and once you are in, work passionately.

What am I looking forward to? I am excited to plan sustainable, meaningful weddings. We want to lessen our carbon footprint and are looking forward to new collaborations that will reuse flex and flower foam. After six years in the industry, we want to give back and make a difference in our community. We also aim to push for a solid work-life balance, with a primary focus on developing a healthy lifestyle while working in the events sector, which we believe is critical in this highly stressful field.

In an exclusive interview with EVENTFAQS Media, Pooja Ghotage, shares insights into her methods for inspiring more women to pursue entrepreneurship or senior leadership roles.

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