Carrying the Baton - Daanesh Aria

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. “This quote by Mahatma Gandhi is what describes me,” shares Daanesh Aria in a tête-à-tête about his life and work. He pursued a Bachelor’s in commerce and later went on to “give wings” to his passion of acting. After dabbling in a theatre in Hyderabad, he went to Mumbai to learn the ropes in this field from Actor Prepares Institute, under the tutelage of ace actor Anupam Kher. He joined his mother, Meher Aria, in her event management company Star Ventures, and is currently knee-deep in it.

What drove you to join your mother in running the business?
In 2017, when auditions in Mumbai were going on at a hectic pace and theatre kept me busy, I understood that making it there would require a huge amount of patience and perseverance. During one of my daily conversations with my mother, she mentioned that work back home in Hyderabad in the event space was burgeoning, and that she was grappling with increased demand. She asked me whether I would like to come back home and join her in Star Ventures. In less than 48 hours, I decided to come back home.

Did you face any challenges in the initial days of your work?
Although challenges are part and parcel of any workspace, the shift wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I entered an environment where perfection, commitment, and excellence are the norm, and achieving them was quite overwhelming at times. Understanding the event industry and its methods and finer nuances were among the major challenges I faced. The transition from Mumbai to Hyderabad was a challenge in itself!

How do you divide the work between you?
While mom is the creative brain behind every event, I consider myself to be the tech-savvy, new-age professional offering expertise in technology for running the show. Décor, design, flowers, colour and all things beautiful are an intrinsic part of mom’s psyche. Production, sound, lights, technical, entertainment, and drama are the aspects I work on. And I execute them with great attention to detail.

Considering that the company is already well-established, what changes do you plan to introduce?
Star Ventures dates back to 1998 and after 21 glorious years in the industry, we continue to work with passion and dedication. We strive for excellence in every single event that we execute. While we are extremely well-versed in the social space with wedding planning as our current focus, I would definitely like to revisit the corporate sector and also look at a pan-India base.

How do you manage to keep all the events different from each other?
Travel and keeping abreast of the latest trends in event planning, décor, and design enables us to make a difference in style, statement, and execution. Innovation is the key buzzword in an industry such as ours.

What’s most rewarding about your work?
Turning dreams into reality is what we aim and work for every day. The smile on our client’s face after a job well done is all the appreciation we need. Meeting and interacting with new people and understanding different cultures is most definitely an enriching experience.

What are the biggest and most memorable events that you’ve put together?
One of my most memorable and cherished projects was designing and crafting an event for an energy major that was celebrating a key achievement. We put on the entire production, with sound, lights and technology, dance, drama and entertainment. And styling and decorating one of the biggest hotel properties in the city for a high-profile wedding reception was also one of those that left a lasting impression.

What are your hobbies and interests?
Games and sports have always been an integral part of my life. I have played and enjoyed badminton and basketball at the club level. Music has always been food for my soul and is a great leveller at all times. And acting continues to be a passion; I will always pursue it because I truly believe it’s about exploring the human soul.        --- as told to Sumana