‘Tribute to Atlanta Naari’ is DIVYA DESAI’S photographic ode to Atlanta women.
They are mothers and wives, sisters and daughters. They are successful professionals and strong role models. They lead with their hearts and give back to the community. Let us salute the ‘heroes’ of our community!
Photography and Concept: Divya Desai
Make up & hair: Kripa Bhatt
Bhavana Anand is the shining new star in the booming concert promotion and event management business. In less than a year, her company Anand Entertainment went from organizing a dance competition with TV judge Geeta Kapur to the recent mammoth A.R. Rahman concert (which she co-promoted with Time Starz Entertaiment). What does it take for a woman to succeed in a male-dominated entertainment space? We decided to find out through this Q&A.
1. Tell us a little about your background.
I came to the United States in 2003 after getting married to Vishal Anand. In 2004 and 2008, I had my beautiful children Krish and Parvi. My husband used to work at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street. Then he got a business opportunity inAlabama. Now he is a successful entrepreneur. We entered the entertainment business with a dance competition with Geeta Kapur as the judge. When the students who came from different dance schools participated and won prizes, more and more people reached out to these schools for admission. So, after receiving an immense amount of love from the audience, I was encouraged to promote more events. Soon, we organized a dance workshop with Dharmesh Sir to enable people to discover more outside the box dance moves. Then, I organized concerts with Shaan and AR Rahman, both sold out shows!
2. You have no background in concert promotion. Why did you decide to get into this field?
Entertainment was always my thing. Even as a child, I loved Bollywood, dance and music. It gave me joy to see people win competitions and fame, which invariably would change their lives. That’s why, my first show was a dance competition. There was no looking back after that.
3. In less than a year, you have gone from one successful event to the next. What do you attribute your success to?
As they say, dream and dedication are a powerful combination. My dreams became a reality because of my dedication and hard work. My family has been my biggest supporter and encourager. My husband Vishal always says, “Never think of losing”. He has been my biggest supporter. My mother has been my greatest teacher. She taught me to be fearless and to live with confidence. My kids Krish and Parvi, my sweet angels, support me unconditionally. All I can say is, I am blessed.
4. What have you learned along the way?
I believe we learn something new every day if we meet different people from different cultural backgrounds. Every person thinks differently. We can’t change their thinking according to our desire. So, most importantly, I have learned patience and to always hear the other person out. Also, organizing these events can be stressful, so time management is most important to make things work smoothly.
5. Concert promotion is a ton of work. Hundreds of tasks to get done, thousands of details to attend to, and a lot of egos to manage. Can you describe some of the work that is involved in the weeks leading up to a big concert?
Yes, a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. You have to stay energetic all the time. It is difficult to make everyone happy. You have to be good at communicating with others and develop necessary leadership skills to make things work out. My focus is to put the audience first. It is the love received from the audience that determines the success of a concert. Their satisfaction is our first priority. And yes, nothing can be taken for granted while organizing events. Everything is in a state of flux and things can change at the drop of a hat. Hence, you need to be ready to face any sort of situation and be able to think on your feet.
6. You don’t live in Atlanta. Does that make it harder for you?
Yes, it was difficult, but not any more. Technology makes my work easier. I can manage a lot through my phone. This has helped me to get things done faster and has also made me more efficient and productive as an event manager. Today, we have access to a wide range of event management softwares that make work easier.
7. How different is it to promote an event in a far away city like Houston,Texas? How do you take care of the logistics?
We had our local partner in Houston for ground work. My phone is a big help while managing events in distant cities. Social platforms have always helped me reach people from different areas. Also, I travel a lot, it has become a habit. Event softwares are a big help.
8. Does being a woman make any difference in your field?
Yes, it is different as it is male-dominated industry. I have received a huge amount of appreciation because even in a male-dominated industry, as a woman, I work with confidence and dignity. I have to meet different people, that’s why interpersonal skills are a must. These skills can only be achieved if we have confidence. The reason I have the confidence is my family’s support. I strongly believe in women’s empowerment. Women can do whatever they want, even if the industry is male-dominated. They shouldn’t worry about what society says. They should follow their hearts.
What kind of personality and traits do you need to put a successful concert together?
You have to realize that there is something special within you. I have discovered my strengths and weaknesses and developed leadership skills, interpersonal skills and organizational skills. I keep in mind to always be creative and to think about others. Confidence is the most important trait!
10. What is the next big event from Anand Entertainment?
My creative cap is on! There are many events to come. I’m not going to stop entertaining my audience so easily. Stay tuned.