Marching Together - Sahiba and Kunwar Lamba

For each flawlessly executed affair to remember, a behind-the-scenes mastermind juggles the details. If you’re lucky, it could be event planning company Virsa – a full-service design and planning company specialising in approachable and intimate events. The business is the brainchild of Kunwar and Sahiba Lamba, who look after the famous Tivoli Garden and are known for combining personalised and warm touches with stylish bravado. Their attention to detail, extraordinary sense of style, and ability to transform their clients’ visions into memorable celebrations have made Virsa the go-to planner for the city’s exclusive and high-profile events. In an interview with You & I, the dynamic duo offer some insight into their business, future projects, and what the city can expect at their upcoming night market.

Can you briefly walk us through the history of Tivoli Garden?
Kunwar Lamba: Tivoli Garden is a spacious, unspoilt, and versatile yet intimate venue. Whether hosting 30 or 2000 people, it never seems too small or too big. Established by my father 30 years ago, the picture-perfect location is nestled in the heart of the city, thus providing a glorious setting for any kind of celebration. In fact, this very rich history prompted Sahiba and me to venture into managing events and start Virsa.  

What was the vision behind Virsa?
Sahiba Lamba: When I moved to Hyderabad from Delhi, for the first 13 years or so I was a homemaker, and my hands were full with three lovely children. Even as a housewife, I was always a part of the business. But that soon changed when I started getting more involved in executing events. That’s when Kunwar and I decided to start Virsa.

When it comes to our brand, I think our different approaches balance each other: Kunwar is someone who prefers to focus more on the quality of the event to create an elevated atmosphere for the guests, while I believe in shunning tradition and designing a stylish, memorable juxtaposition. On a more granular level, my role is to sense check every piece of creative work that goes out the door, and to make sure we are challenging ourselves and delivering better results. But I guess I needed that push from my husband and support from my family.

KL: Tivoli Garden has provided the perfect backdrop to just about any type of party, from a casual event to a classic dinner party. Despite being in the heart of the city, the venue can often feel worlds away, offering an escape for guests and hosts alike, and a setting unlike any other. And we are taking this forward with Virsa, which means legacy. Our team of experts has a great reputation among our clients for being highly responsive and responsible. The biggest pride of our company is that we are innovative, creative and, at the same time, classy. Our mission is to deliver happiness, and there is a character and soul in what we do.

Over the last several years, the focus and importance placed on the client’s experience has grown exponentially. What types of services and solutions are you employing to further optimise their experience with Virsa?
SL: Each event that we design is with an elegant finesse that transcends the typical, and takes you into an unexpected vision. Kunwar always had a very dedicated team, who are analytical and can understand what clients are exactly looking for, without compromising on quality. We invest a tremendous amount of our time getting to know the story behind the occasion, our client’s interests, passions, or the objective behind the brand – depending upon what type of event we are designing for. With that our major goal is to tell a story, be it of celebration or romance.

Where do you find your creative inspiration?
SL: Thanks to my husband, I developed a taste for all things exquisite. Besides, we like to travel a lot. Visiting different countries and getting to know their culture and religion helped me to better understand the world of design, and made us who we are today.

KL: I agree, our strong desire to travel and the enrichment we get from each experience is definitely our strongest inspiration. And it’s never in one particular place for me; it’s more about being open and sometimes it can come from the seemingly mundane. Also, I relish ideas, things, expressions, art and music that resonates with me.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
SL: When we’re not working, we love to spend time with our three children. Apart from that, Kunwar and I like to unwind by watching movies together. While I love to cook for my family, Kunwar loves to take us on long drives in his swanky cars.

What’s the next natural transition?
At this point we are growing our business and slowly expanding our services in a creative and different way. We will also be organising a Sunday Night Market in association with Mahavir Motors and Kishandas & Co. on April 15. Starting at 3 pm, the night market will be held at Tivoli Garden, and will feature a wide variety of scenes and colours. The kaleidoscope of stalls offers an exciting mix of shopping opportunities ranging from food stalls, accessories, and apparels.        – as told to Anisha