Making Memories of A Lifetime - Zain Rais

A talented wedding planner is a gift you give yourself because it is he/she that truly makes your day memorable and seamless. Zain Rais started Entertainment Bay in 2012 with the aim of giving people unique concepts in order to make their event a cut above the rest. Within a few years, his company became one of the most sought after ones in wedding and event planning in the country. We chatted with the man behind all the magic to find out how he does it. Read ahead…

How did you enter the event management space?
Growing up, I had a zest to do something different. I hated monotony and I was not in the era of Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook so it was extremely difficult, as visualisation for an event was actually a brain storming session and interpreting briefs was a great detailed task.

I interned at MTV, Lowe Lintas, and BPL Sanyo from the age of 17, hence media and entertainment made me realise the excitement and thrill of the business. While I was still in college, I was approached by Elle 18 to do the Miss University contest and I organised it with finesse.That was the birth of my career in the field of event management.The next event followed shortly, when a friend asked me to help with his parents 25th anniversary at the Taj in Mumbai for around 1,000 guests. At that time Yellow came to my rescue. 

I completed a Bachelors in Mass Media and an MBA from Cardiff University in UK, but all through my university years I used to enjoy organising college fests and beauty queen events. When I returned to India, I worked with various event companies in the space of entertainment and marketing for 10 years and finally launched by own enterprise, Entertainment Bay in 2012.

What drove you to start Entertainment Bay?
I had finished working in various companies in the field of media and entertainment for 10 years and I felt I had the required experience and knowledge to start my own company. I wanted to create a platform where the client gets transparency and servicing as a one stop shop, with everything right from ideation to execution and delivering of unique concepts that could make a difference to the event. At Entertainment Bay, we bring out the fun element in each and every individual. My first question to every bride is “What did you dream of for your special day while growing up”. My aim is to bring these dreams alive.

At a recent wedding I did in Hyderabad, the girl was adventurous and wanted to make a grand entry through an aerial act. We across to find someone who could help us achieve it, but eventually we flew down a team from Mumbai to give the bride her dream entry. So from having concepts of Garden of Eden and Retro Cinema to Moulin Rouge, Summer Picnics and Bollywood Nights, we have produced it all. 

Entertainment Bay is one of the few companies that provides end-to-end solutions for weddings, entertainment events, and shows. What services do you provide that is different from your counterparts?
We’re fiercely committed to every wedding or event’s success. We’re a different breed at Entertainment Bay. Admittedly, our people are a little unusual and a whole lot of fun. We thrive on ideating events with a difference. Our crew is driven, disciplined, talented and passionate and do not rest until the client is happy. All of which leads us to what you value the most: real results and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re working with people you know, trust and like.

With years of global experience in all aspects of wedding management, we work with highly qualified professionals and technicians and that results in the finest executions of our weddings. We enhance our skill set with continuous research from across the world and use the latest technology to create high-value events. We also strive to get the best rates in the business and procure artists, talents, and resources to benefit our client’s varied budgets. Entertainment Bay cultivates a genuine team spirit, with all others benefiting from our unity because “Team Work, Works”!

The wedding space is a highly competitive field. How do you stay ahead of the rest?
By offering unique concepts to our clients. We have really fun and interactive artists in our database, ones that appeal to audiences from an 8 year old kid to an 80 year old grandmom, because we believe the dance floor is the space to rule in an event. We make sure our clients are comfortable with us as we service with a willingness/ flexibility to help as an extended family member, and their confidentiality with us is respected and maintained. Another thing that sets us apart is, we work with people that the client is comfortable with, so if the client has his/her trusted florist or designer etc, we happily work along with them to achieve the desired results.

Which event/wedding in recent times was the most challenging for you to put together?
We had done a Hollywood producer’s wedding in Mumbai where he had flown in with 150 prominent personalities from Hollywood. We managed to take over Capitol Cinema in Mumbai and brought it alive for a Retro Cinema Night. This theatre was in a bad shape for many years and we did everything to restore it and bring it back to life. 

How do you make every event different from the other?
We are constantly trying to identify the latest exciting offerings for our clients. Every client wants something new and unique so we take it up as a challenge and ensure that it is done. I feel humbled and thankful to have won the Wedding Sutra award in two categories—Wedding sangeet and Mehendi— in 2020. Our hard work is paid off when the clients appreciate our work and when we are acknowledged for our efforts.

Where does your creativity come from and who/what are you most inspired by?
I am inspired by Neo Gothic/Italian Art and Architecture. My inspiration comes from any heritage structure, be it the Chowmahalla Palace, Falaknuma Palace or the Mumbai Vt Station. I hope I can, at some point in life, restore and run a heritage structure as an eventspace, keeping its heritage intact.          -as told to Niharika

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