He is well-known in the event management industry to offer out-of-the-box solutions at his fingertips. From crafting a winning formula for an event with a limited budget to staging a successful last-minute corporate show, Joe Michael, founder of Razzmatazz, has been a pioneer in many ways. Razzmatazz Events is a leading Chennai-based event management and training company with operations spread across India. Event management by itself covers a wide range of services. However, Razzmatazz has created a niche for itself based purely on its creativity and impeccable execution. Read below to learn a bit more about his entrepreneurial journey into the world of
Meet Joe Michael
Charismatic, independent and focused. There are no better words to describe Joe Micheal, the mastermind behind Razzmatazz Group.
Coming from a time in India where lucrative career only meant being doctors and engineers, Joe also got sucked into the engineering wave. “However, the thought of a 9-5 job never really impressed me,” he says. And in 2005, while he was in his first year of engineering he established his company.
Though he belongs to an affluent business family, he had a simple childhood. Pocket money allowances were restricted and had to be earned by assisting his father in their textile shop. It was here, that he learnt the most important lessons about marketing which no business degree can ever teach you! “My father was a smooth talker and ensured his customers are happy. No one would ever step out of our shop empty-handed” he recollects. So being a people’s person is in his genes!
From distributing pamphlets a college kid to being featured among the top 30 promising entrepreneurs by The CEO magazine, he has indeed come a long way. And even after all these years of fierce competition and witnessing serious changes in the industry, his company stands its position among the top event management firms in the country.
How Did It Start?
“I had a brush with it out of chance and in a matter of time realized it was the kind of fulfilling career that I had longed for”, says Joe.
Being curious and passionate are among the top personality traits of successful leaders. And Joe is no different. While in the first year of engineering, he was amused by the energy and enthusiasm of a flyer distributor. Out of curiosity, he approached him to understand the business model. “When I learnt he made Rs.100/day which was more than my whole month’s pocket money, I convinced him to employ me. When I was distributing pamphlets, I was curious about the next level as a manpower supplier and so on” mentions Joe. In a short span of a few months, he bagged his first sub-contract from an agency. It was to manage promotional activities for Sony handy-cam in 30 outlets for a month throughout Chennai. The rest is history.
Taste Of Success
The multi-award winning Razzmatazz Group has a reputation for producing bespoke events and experiences for cross-sector global brands and organisations. In fact, they have their in-house production unit which enables to scale quickly and create cost-effective solutions in real time. Currently, they also have diverse business interests in wedding planning and event management training.
“We have repeat clients coming back year after year not only for our services but also for the transparency that we offer” comments Joe.
Till date, the company’s corporate client portfolio includes about 600 companies and over 5,000 brands. Likewise, they have trained more than 200 individuals on the path of entrepreneurship. They have a pan-India presence with offices in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore.
The close-knit team of 20 odd full-time professionals is the backbone of this organization. With years of experience in designing and producing spectacular events, they work tirelessly to ensure flawless execution.
Road To Entrepreneurship
So was the entrepreneurial journey all well and happy?
“Well, roadblocks and setbacks are part of growth. And I have had my share. In the initial stages, they were mostly financial and operational. Arranging an event, be corporate or social, is a massive task and it can get very demanding. Unanticipated incidents, vendor-related issues and clashes are quite common in event planning. But every mistake or setback was a learning experience.” His passion for continuous improvement and business innovation proves that Joe is cut for this business.
He adds “As the business gained a foothold and grew, I had strategic issues. I received several unsolicited offers from investors and competitors who were interested in either buying my company or partnership. But even after 13 years since inception, I remain the sole proprietor of Razzmatazz. Though the offers were luring, its not part of my plan.”
What Sets Them Apart?
The brand Razzmatazz has grown steadily over the years purely based on reputation. Apart from offering specialized services to events they also offer opportunities to aspirants. Joe states “We value and believe in collaboration with good talent rather than competition”
Growth, Growth, Growth
The market for on-demand services is big in India. The events space is yet to reap the full benefits of technology, unlike the travel industry. According to a report by EY-EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association), the events industry in India is predicted to cross 10,000 crore mark by 2020-21. Joe adds “Our growth has been good and we want to focus on our growth through organic and sustainable strategies.”
While there are many companies in the event management space, Joe feels the industry lacks professionally trained event managers. He points out that this is one of the main reasons for the industry to still remain largely unorganized. He says “But times are changing and clients are more demanding than ever. Razzmatazz Academy was established with the aim to facilitate entrepreneurs who want to break into this space with streamlined event planning processes and industry best-practices. In this year alone, we aim to expand our reach to 1000+ entrepreneurs and professionally train them. This is part of our organic growth and will eventually generate more value.”
For the future, the company plans to diversify into the lucrative entertainment industry.
Words Of Advice
He advises to avoid negativity and believe in yourself. ” Don’t see the blocks but see the possibilities beyond. Being positive and focused is crucial for success.”
We wish Joe luck and many opportunities to fulfil his future goals.
We will be back soon with yet another inspiring entrepreneurial story. In the meanwhile, we would love to hear from you about your views and experiences. Do write to us or leave your comments below!!!
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Also published on Medium.