Raju Kanampuzha heads Executive Events, one of the leading Event Management Companies!
Spread across 26,000 square feet, the world’s largest Pookalam that used 30 tonnes of flowers, was completed in just 8 minutes and 20 seconds by 500 participants in Kerala. The project that was planned and implemented by Executive Events for a leading Kerala-based publiocation got into the Limca Book of World Records. Raju Kanampuzha was the man behind the show. The seasoned event manager shares his experiences with RITZ as he and his team embark on their tenth year in business.
Raju Kanampuzha had dreams of becoming a journalist when he finished his Masters in Communication and Journalism from Madurai Kamaraj University, but destiny had a different plan for him. He accidentally started his career at the Chaliyar Hospital in Nilambur, Malapuram district as a PR officer and later worked at various other hospital projects in PR and administration. He briefly joined the Government sector as an administrative officer but soon realised that his interest was in healthcare. In 2001, a cardiologist from the National Association Of Cardiologists approached him to organise the national conference in Kerala. Raju wasn’t sure how he would go about it but decided to take the plunge nevertheless. After his untiring efforts over 18 months, the conference was a huge success. Next the national conference for cardio thoracic surgeons came his way, which offered him more experience and exposure at event management. There has been no turning back since then.
“My aim is to have a zero error event. I feel time is the biggest investment for every event manager”
In 2006, he realised that event management was his passion and he formally started Executive Events, the first ISO Certified event management company in Kerala, with 42 staff and three centres across the state. The team has expertise in organising medical conferences apart from corporate events and private events like weddings and birthdays. The latest addition to the list is a product called ‘It’s My Day!’ which is an exclusive funeral service offered by the company.
“I have handled up to 26 medical specialities in terms of handling medical conferences, and this has taught us how to make the ‘impossible’ possible. The USP of our brand would be the fact that we are technologically ahead of our counterparts. We have a good in-house tech team constantly helping us innovate. We have made use of large format audio visual aids such as 3D technology, satellite communications and live telecast in our medical conferences. Doctors have had the trust that my team would deliver desired results, which has also inspired us to experiment with new concepts. We have developed an exclusive product now called Medicon.in for medical event management. I would say technology is one of the key factors behind our success. We even developed and introduced an exclusive software and mobile app for event management,” explains Raju.
As an event manager, he says right from the conceptualisation of the event, the manager needs to be a part of it. “The ability to visualise an event is a born talent of an event manager. When he visualises it in his mind, he thinks of risks and plans for backup or a plan B to cover those risks. I have faced many calamities in my career but if you are ready with your backup, there is always a way out. My aim is to have a zero error event. Also, I feel time is the biggest investment for every event manager. What matters is how you utilise and save time to invest it correctly. To me, every event, big or small, is crucial as each event is important to the person who is hosting it and more importantly to me, as I see every event as a future opportunity,” he smiles.
Raju has travelled to 14 countries across the world to learn and understand the latest developments and technological updates in his field. The main challenges have been in creating desired venues from raw formats, planning the logistics, transportation and accommodation for guests taking part in large events. “I would say, in many ways, we have contributed a great deal to Kerala Tourism by managing such national events,” he adds. The team has also had the opportunity to associate with top Indian celebrities like Ambitabh Bachchan, Adnan Sami, Shankar Mahadevan, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen and Sachin Tendulkar to name a few.
So what is next? The company is exploring ways to increase the return on investment of each event. “We need our events to achieve diversified objectives like branding, product profiling, promotions, to involve multiple stakeholders at multiple levels and that’s where we see our future,” says Raju signing off.