There was a time when entrepreneurship was once considered a man's domain, however, the tide has shifted. The women of today across the globe, leaving aside far beyond the clichéd notions, have been excelling in every possible aspect which very well comprises of the tedious as well as detailed sphere of entrepreneurship. We caught up with the truly inspiring entrepreneur, Reema Sanghavi, CO-founder Pinkathon & Managing Director, Maximus MICE & Media Solutions PVT. Ltd about how she set up her own company, what it takes to be a good leader and her belief in paying it forward.
Excerpts from the interview:
Maximus came into existence in 2008. How did this concept come into your mind?
I had made experiential travel and events my profession much before I started Maximus, and one thing I knew for sure was that my passion for delivering experiences would never let me down. Around the same time, I met Milind Soman through a common friend and Maximus was born. My passion for creating experiential events and bespoke travel experiences and Milind’s passion for creating IPs brought about the inception of an agency backed by a powerhouse named, Maximus.
The name was derived from one of the first forms of entertainment, the oldest arena in Rome named the Circus Maximus. Led by the characteristics and nature of a fighting spirit, the gladiator – Maximus.
How did you deal with the glitches you faced in the beginning?
When I thought of becoming an entrepreneur, I always thought of my father. My father would never know when the business was a battle and when it was a boon. So, when I started this business, I knew for a fact that I will put whatever I have to live up to the image my father had left me. I faced the glitches, the ups and the downs, all in the same manner, with passion in my heart and a solution over problem attitude.
Maximus has a repertoire of over 500 MICE events and umpteen stories, where does it stand today?
Being in the industry for 10 years now and served more than 2000 experiences, Maximus today has surely put itself on the map after executing events across the globe. It currently has offices in Mumbai and Singapore. After introducing a sports and special projects division six years ago, our portfolio increased exponentially which has led to the organization living up to its name. We believe that we are gladiators and that attitude has made us fight for our place in one of the noted names in the world of experiential marketing.
You have won awards like MICE Future Leader of the Year Award, Women Super Achiever Award, etc. This is overwhelming, please share something about this.
Winning an award is always a great feeling and when your work gets recognized on a public platform, it encourages you to work harder and excel for excellence. However, I am a believer of Rewards over Awards.
You got success at the age of 27, as a woman entrepreneur. Have you faced any challenges? Your tips for women entrepreneurs?
Challenges: Don’t we all fight the black hair vs grey hair syndrome? I was no exception to the same.
My tips for women entrepreneurs: According to me there are 3 things that make a successful entrepreneur: Passion, focus and discipline.
Values that drive me: Believe in yourself and live to inspire.
You are also Co-Founder of Pinkathon which is created for women to adopt a fitter lifestyle for themselves and their families and to highlight the need for increased awareness about breast cancer and other issues that put women’s lives at risk. What are your future goals for that?
Pinkathon is more than a marathon. It is the seed of change and the beginning of a movement that is carried forward by a growing community of empowered women across India who share a belief that a healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women. First step in empowerment is taking control of your own health, respecting yourself and understanding and celebrating the value you bring to your family and society.
Today, 102-year-old Mann Kaur, an Indian track – and – field athlete, who holds the world record in the over 100 years old category has become the face and star of Pinkathon as she believes in this noble cause.
There are Pinkathon Ambassadors in every city who are passionate, extraordinary, committed men & women connecting for one cause – ‘health for every woman’. We would like to take Pinkathon to more cities in India as well as other foreign countries. We are taking this initiative to tier 2 cities through 'India going Pink’ and have organised the same in Vizag, Goa, Thane, Nagpur and Raipur. Our endeavour is to cover as many cities and towns and also to make it a global event. We want to paint the world PINK!!
You are the Managing Director and Bollywood actor-Ultra Man Milind Soman is the Director of Maximus. We would like to know your experience working with Milind Soman.
Milind Soman is a visionary and marketing genius. Working with him has been a learning all along. We are both Scorpions and believe in the same formula of success: passion, focus and discipline. He has been a huge inspiration in my life: personally and professionally.
You have worked with stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Deepika Padukone and several others. What was the best thing you have learnt while working with these B-town celebrities?
Celebrities teach you and make you believe that your passion can make you successful and famous. To be a celeb is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Tell us one thing about yourself, which most of the people don’t know?
I can cook!
How is Maximus different from others?
Maximus believes in value creation and that’s how we benchmark all our achievements. We believe in creating quantifiable values through all projects we undertake. Be it for revolutionary IPs like Pinkathon; or working with leading international motivational speakers as part of our speakers’ bureau: Speaking Minds; or, creating bespoke experiential events and curating memorable travel experiences through Maximus; and even through our new endeavor: Maximus Digital, the recently launched content and digital arm catering to the technology and digital marketing amplifications needed for our clients.
According to you what is the biggest change required in today’s event industry?
Health and safety for events is not up to international standards. That’s one area that we, collectively, as an industry have to buck up and focus our energies on. The best practices from international events can definitely be introduced for events and activations of all scales.
According to you, are women more effective leaders than men?
Men and women are equally good leaders. I believe in gender equality, and there is no pegging one against the other.
Your mission and vision for the future for Maximus and Pinkathon?
Mission: To create global bespoke experiential campaigns keeping the ‘TargetFirst’ approach.
Vision: To become the most loved, profitable and recognized experiential marketing agency in the markets we operate in.
Mission: For Pinkathon, A healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women. The first step in empowerment is taking control of your own health, respecting yourself and understanding and celebrating the value you bring to your family and society.
Vision: To paint the world PINK with Pinkathon!
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