SHRUTI TIWARI GOA'S CUSTOM WEDDING PLANNER

Woman empowerment is the new mantra that is being promoted by the Indian government to encourage the Indian Women. Incredible Goa is also doing its bit by promoting the enterprising women though on this platform. The Women empowerment section is a new initiative of Incredible Goa magazine that will bring out the real talent in the field of women empowerment in Goa. Our first entrepreneur lady is Ms. Shruti Tiwari. Shruti a non-Goan but settled in Goa for quite some time now and she is running a business of a Wedding Planner. Just like any other entrepreneur the journey to her venture was not easy at all and she has struggled through her way to come up in her endeavors and to make to the top.

Shruti Tiwari is a very well-known name in the field of wedding planners in Goa since she has established the concept of custom weddings in the state of Goa. A graduate of Mass Communication from the Jabalpur University in MP (Madhya Pradesh) Shruti had shifted to Goa in the year 2005 along with her Husband who works for an Indian Navy. “I am not a Goan. I did my graduation in Mass communication from Jabalpur University in MP and then I did my internship in Delhi in the news channels. I had a lot of interest in working with the news channels since it covers a lot of social aspects. My first assignment was with the Hindi news channel AAJ TAK and later I got associated with the good number of channels and developed my networking. It was not an easy task at all. I used to work in the two shifts and worked with them for 8-9 months. My task was to cover the story on the site, come back sit with the editor and learn the art of editing as well. It was a proper internship where we were thought to make the proper news. It was a great experience when I was in Delhi,” Narrated Shruti.

Shruti got married in Jabalpur and then came down to Goa settled here since the posting of her husband was in Goa. When she came to Goa she started hunting for a job which she finally did not find here. “I thought that my mass communications skill would help me here in Goa but to my surprise there was nobody who would offer me an opportunity because I didn’t have the knowledge of a local language and at the same time the only newspaper which I understood and could be a part of was The Navhind Times and The Times Of India. I was too new for Goa to write anything which is related to Goa so I just went with the flow and I thought that I have to change my mainstream,” she said.Finally, Shruti realized that she will not have much to do here and she started writing a column for national magazines like women’s era on a freelance basis. “Actually I accepted whatever came in my way since I did not want to get off with the writing art of mine which eventually lost,” she said. While doing the freelance writing for the Women’s Era magazine Shruti started doing events “Here I met the Parvez, the owner of Funky Heads. Parvez saw me and felt that I have the potential, by a little bit of training and brushing up the thought that I can do it. I was called for an interview and Parvez didn’t even take my interview and I was on board with them. So Funky heads trained me, brushed me and made me an event manager. 5 years of experience I had with them,” said Shruti.

Shruti joined the Funky Heads as a production house manager and her new journey started.  “I didn’t realize that we are working for bigger event managers and we are not working with direct clients, we were not working with hotels and we were labeled with production house by which I was not so happy. We thought to push ourselves and come into main event management. The custom wedding was something that I and Parvez wanted to start and it happened and was doing quite well. We did more than 75 weddings in 2 years and it turned out to be a really good experience there. We made a good name in the market. After 2 years I became the in charge of a custom wedding in the mainstream. It took time but it grew beautifully,” she said.

After the two years of journey with the Funky Heads Shruti decided to start her own venture but that didn’t come easily to her. “I never thought of starting my own business initially actually I was doing a good job with Funky Heads but things slowly started changing. I realized that I have the partners who have completely different way of thinking. I wanted to follow certain ideology and also wanted to make a good name but the clashes of ideology were always coming in my way. Although I was given the complete freedom of working but as we grew there were questions and there were expectations of profitability that I was not able to fulfill because when a client gives us a wedding, they expect a certain kind of quality of it and when we have four different people to work as a partner, they have their own way of ideas, somebody wants extra profitability, somebody expects only services so to cut short that I thought let me come out and do it my way where I am the decision maker, where I can design and execute,” narrated Shruti.

This was the turning point in the Shruti’s career and she did not realize that she will one day handle the entire show on her own shoulder and will execute the things the way she always wanted. “If I am not mistaken, it happened within 10 days that I moved out of the company. After moving out, I took a break of 11 days and on 4th of January I started Vogue wedding. This was not an easy task at all but I just realized that my name was more than my company and this I realized once I moved out. It takes the time to built your name so apparently 2-3 friends of mine which I had in the hotel industry they all pushed and supported me this is the time I realized my worth when I was alone without the company associated with me. People suggested me to go and get my name registered as Shruti Tiwari weddings or weddings by Shruti Tiwari but I thought I could not do this because I am a non-Goan and I needed a support. Being in Goa I had amazing people around me and I wanted to grow with them,” said Shruti.

The new journey of Shruti started with the Vogue Weddings that she launched on the 4th January 2016 at Cohiba. Shruti also mentions here as for how the owner of Good Life Amit Bakhale who also owns the Cohiba and Tao outlets helped her to fulfill her dreams. “When I was looking for the help, Amit’s company Good Life came into the picture and I definitely want to mention Good Life here because they were there when nobody turned around,” said Shruti adding that “Good Life is the same company who brought Michael Learns to Rock in Goa, they do shows. Good life owns Cohiba and Tao. This Good Life brand had a very big weight and my ideology is that if you want to grow then you have to get associated with the people who are hardworking, and Good Life has come up on its own.” Said Shruti.

According to the Shruti, Vogue Luxury Weddings is the amalgamation of Good Life and Shruti Tiwari. “It is a partnership and they are the investors. It’s not just about the money. I am the managing partner. If any problem takes place, there are things where they inquire and I execute the weddings so it’s like a collective work.  Initially, I wanted a good place to sit. When you start a venture, it has to be proper; we can’t sit in a coffee shop. Everything should be in place and this can’t happen without any support. Good Life actually supported me they went out of their way and backed me. I decided this on 1st January and on the 4th of January I got the 1st wedding which was not a big wedding but just a local Goan wedding. I thought doing destination wedding is different giving quality and fun to a locality will be fun and they were from Ponda after that I got a confidence that I can do a local wedding as well. I have almost done 6 weddings and in February was full of work,” said Shruti.

Now Shruti is aiming for the corporate events which according to her are a bigger chunk of business compared to the existing one. “I have not touched the corporate’s work but definitely I am going to pitch in for the corporate weddings very soon which is a bigger project. I have been contacted by the clients for the birthdays, launch parties and bachelorette on the yacht. Now corporate will stick to only big brands working for event company was not a profitable thing to me as it gives so much effort and by the end of the day that work and effort are labeled by somebody else.”

Shruti Tiwari, besides being a business woman is also a mom of a 9-year-old boy and being a single mom she has to manage everything on her own though she has a domestic help but that alone does not suffice the duty of a mom. But then how Shruti manages everything that too without any complaints is the most interesting story on its own. “My ideology says, “LAGE RAHO” (JUST KEEP GOING), if I turn back it is too scary, I myself don’t know how I managed everything but yes I had a really shattering marriage and because of my ups and downs and I also missed out some of the beautiful moments in the upbringing of my child. To be honest working was not my pleasure because of the money I wanted to support and make a better future so definitely I will treat myself as a strong women who had sacrificed so many good moments, I never went on a holiday with my family so this is the price I have paid but now I am bonding it again with my child and we went abroad this year. Life is full of surprises and I have faced it and I agree that life is uncertain so we have to live for today because we don’t know if tomorrow is going to come and it will be so fruitful or not. When I am a part of somebody’s best moments, it’s the moment I live with them and doing weddings, being a part of their big day is so much fun. For that, I have to be passionate to be in this profession and I feel I live in this moment as I love to do it. Till now all the 21 weddings that I did since January began small. Till date, not even one client came up to me and said “Shruti you have over charged me and I am not happy” I feel I made it when I don’t have even one minus and all greens. It’s not because of money it’s just because I am passionate, this journey has been full o surprises and full of fun,” said Shruti.

It is a general perception that the working women are ambitious and they do not give much importance to the household matters but it is not true at all. According to the Shruti, being a housewife is also an ambition and doing the household work is equally challenging. “I feel that Balancing both the task effectively is very important. I have so much to achieve. I get help at home who does all my housework because if I do that, I might miss on my clients who expect everything on time, it may be a Skype call for 2 hours or anything else.” said Shruti. Now Shruti is having the plans of moving out of Goa as she wants to get on PAN India and International network. “Presently I am targeting 3 weddings outside India, One in Barley and one in Srilanka. Recently I went to Srilanka for the same,” said Shruti.

Shruti is no more targeting to the budget weddings but now she wants to execute the International weddings in a better way. She now wants to spread her wings outside the state and country. “Goa has too much of competition but that is never been my concern at all. The competition is everywhere but my ideas are different. I want to be different from the others,” she said. Shruti believes in being completely different. Being the MD of the company she gets herself completely mixed with the crowd at the wedding venue. “You will see me dancing with the crowd, you will see me talking with the groom’s sister and I get into the family and enjoy the event and at the same time maintaining a professional front where there is no compromise on the execution. there is a loss in these apart from the family and enjoying the wedding and then the round figure comes of giving a discount and now that I am so close to the family, I don’t feel like fighting for that 15,000 or 20,000 so that is the minus thing but it is fun and when I look back I feel it is worth it because one wedding will give you five more weddings, that’s your achievement. So definitely I want to go a long way. I don’t want to stop here and limit myself to these 5-6 hotels and do the weddings here.”

Turning back from the professional life of Shruti I bowed my questions towards her personal life as the readers surely would be interested in knowing as how Shruti manages her life with her only kid who is 9 years old and taken care by the single mother. “I feel for a mother when the child is born from that time, till the child is 6 years old, he is small and is not able to express himself that is the most challenging time. When the child cries, you don’t know why he is crying so that is the stage which is gone, now my child is 9 years old and he is understanding the seriousness of his mom being a professional person, who is taking care of the child fully as a single parent so I am assuming that my child is the 1st person initially to support me for this profession and he is doing it. I came in this profession because I was a single earner and the bank was giving me only 8,000 rupees by which I was not able to pay my child’s fees so I was forced to work because of a bad marriage. In spite of him not being there in Goa, my mom and dad became a good support for me. In December I have lots of events so I call them here from Jabalpur and they are here till January so that’s the biggest support.” narrated Shruti.

Finally here is a most important message from Shruti which you might find very useful. According to Shruti “Life is very uncertain so the women who are dedicating their 24 hours working at home,  they should restrict themselves only as home persons, they should not avoid what they love to do. They should take out time for themselves because you never know what will come up in future. Vogue Luxury weddings was a surprise for me. It was an unplanned project which started within 7 days of work. I would say you should not stop dreaming. Always dream and keep dreaming big. If you grow it’s the destiny and if you don’t at least you won’t have grudges that you didn’t try it.”

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