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…and of course, a lot of drama, Bollywood dance numbers, a love story within the business partners, and the success of their wedding planning venture.
Weddings are a huge part of the Indian subcontinent. More so, when it comes to the industry that has bloomed out of people opting for bigger and bigger wedding events, some that last for more than a week. The minimum average stands at three days. A small co-industry that has branched from this seed is the one that funnels rest of these co-industries. This is the wedding management, the wedding organizers, or the wedding planner industry. Headed by event management experts with a sea of team members to make sure these five days of merriment and celebration happens smoothly and the families of the partners can themselves participate without worry.
This industry has its hotspot in the northern city of Delhi, where wedding ceremonies are bigger than most period drama film sets. The budgets are jaw-dropping as well. Such weddings are impossible without organizers and dozens of team members who work behind the velvet curtains of the heritage hotels these events take place in.
Mostly it is a lesson on mixing business and professional, but through the branding lens, the pitching that Bittoo and Shruti did throughout the film, shone out for me.
Precisely put by IMDb, Shruti (Anushka Sharma) is a 20-something no-nonsense girl from a middle-class Delhi household. Focused and determined with preplanned ambitions, her goals in life are well laid out by the time she reaches her final year of college. To further add to the character sketch of Shruti, she is even shown to have a scrapbook, an ever-evolving mood board of wedding industry trends, themes, and other small ideas for the event and the Jaimala ceremony. This shows her dreams, her passion, and her drive for what she wanted to do. She even had the financial side of it figured out. This is an ideal client for any branding studio, an entrepreneur with well-defined values, a clear vision for the venture, and the will to invest in research.
Whereas, IMDb describes Bittoo (Ranveer Singh), on the other hand, has no real aim in life. As a final year college student of Delhi University, he whiles away his life having fun with his buddies, barely scraping through his exams. He has an attraction towards Shruti, and as soon as the university is done with, to avoid having to go to his father’s village to join his farm to cut sugarcane, he pitches Shruti for a partnership. It was clear through the beginning and end, that he had no interest in the business, apart from the fun and music part, and participated equally, only to make Shruti happy, and be around her. But We are not talking about that today.
As the film progresses, Shruti reflects really good business ethics, constant drive, understanding of her clients, and a sense of good spacial design for the wedding ceremonies and decor. She was driven, focused, and unfazed by anything that had nothing to do with her business. Desperation was what drove Bittoo.
Both start with trying to learn the business of the industry by working under a pre-established planner, Chanda. They realized that this planner was all about the talk, and false promises to the client, and scraping money off the budget by using lesser materials in decoration. It was a cue for them to leave and start something themselves, although smaller.
Gained experience in the field, did not sacrifice their value system to work with big names, held their ground, and had the confidence to leave. For the first wedding they executed, they had a very small budget, but executed with the best quality possible in the budget, and made a big name through word of mouth. They only took up one wedding at a time, making sure that the client gets full attention and availability of the experts on the field, during the event, just in case. At the scale of Indian weddings, there’s almost always a case.
Over-dramatization, or as the westerners would call it, Bollywoodization also made sure that they would put up an entire choreographed dance production with costumes, custom lighting, and background dancers if the highlight artist decides to bail. Imagine your wedding planner putting up a 4-minute high energy Bollywood number because Shah Rukh Khan “broke his arm” and canceled last minute. A little too good to be true. This was also seen in some business-level decision making.
The only wrong- Not just mixing business and pleasure, but failing to communicate after. Resulted in classic situations of miscommunication, anger, and finally separation of partners.
The skill of a good pitch was seen in both Shruti and Bittoo. Right from being able to convince Chanda to give them a job, bagging their first wedding project, the big wedding at Sainik farm, all of them ended on a positive revert from the clients.
The not-so-secret ingredient of a good pitch is research. These two business partners made sure to research not just their competition, but also the clients they were pitching to. Since they have more time than elevator pitches, they also don this presentation with a personal story or two, an anecdote or observational uniqueness to the client and that makes all the difference.
Hey, my name is Manas and I write here at Slangbusters. Films are a personal preference for art that I like to consume. I noticed we have a lot of films made about business and entrepreneurship. Is such an influential medium doing justice to the branding part? What would it be like to have them as clients? I analyze all this with my knowledge about the branding process and try finding parallels. Contact us if you wish to recommend a film, or collaborate on a project?
— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio