In Conversation With Dr. Deepak Swaminathan Founder & CEO, Media Point

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While the Event Industry is regaining from its slumber from the pandemic, I firmly believe that the Industry will be more Hybrid driven

ES. Please highlight your career journey, major hurdles overcome and milestones achieved so far.

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. I am a first generation entrepreneur, stepping into the 25th year of Business. An Experienced many time successful entrepreneur, with a demonstrated history of building businesses in the field of Retail, Experiential Solutions, Event Designing and Animation. Experiential events were unheard of when I started Media Point in 1998. Events were evolving as a formidable choice in the promotion pie. The market became crowded fast and we were pushed to innovate which has been our differentiator since then. We have evolved with this industry seeing it morph from a vanilla stage, sound setup to creating awesome experiences deploying technology concurrent to times. Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. I am a first generation entrepreneur, stepping into the 25th year of Business. An Experienced many time successful entrepreneur, with a demonstrated history of building businesses in the field of Retail, Experiential Solutions, Event Designing and Animation. Experiential events were unheard of when I started Media Point in 1998. Events were evolving as a formidable choice in the promotion pie.

The market became crowded fast and we were pushed to innovate which has been our differentiator since then. We have evolved with this industry seeing it morph from a vanilla stage, sound setup to creating awesome experiences deploying technology concurrent to times. Being one of the early movers, we had difficulties convincing clients at start to invest in events. But with results showing up Experiential events became a firm choice for clients. Started my entrepreneurial journey in late 90’s with our flagship brand Media Point, that specializes in delivering superior experiential and event solutions, I was quick to sense business opportunities in the fields of Education & Wellness which was an off shoot from Media Point.

With a strong knowledge on managing finances and marketing, it was a simple puzzle solving to understand successful business models & pursue investing on those. The entrepreneurial ventures have opened up employment opportunities for numerous professionals across our businesses. High on ethics, compassionate & systematic in operation are at the core of our businesses and I firmly believe in the “Win-Win” model approach which has been our mantra from the day one. After having built & hived off 3 successful ventures, I had unveiled in 2019 India’s Pioneering Digital Platform for Events, Expos and Weddings. With vast experience, we have now put together a core technical team, mentored by me, that has developed Media Point Live, a unique digital platform that would be the next big stop for us. Innovation blended with passion and perseverance has been the driving force form the word start and that keeps me and my organization alive and young as we turn 25 in business.

ES. What encouraged you to become an Author? What is your inspiration behind writing your book ‘Ignitions of Inspiration?’

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. When i commenced my journey as an entrepreneur in 1998 (after a brief stint in the Corporate World), India was at the cusp of change with technology gaining ground. The term Start-up was yet to be in vogue and getting the right opportunities and support was limited. Every opportunity came with a set of challenges & puzzles and solving them opened doors for furthering the business. Every assignment was a University in itself; every meeting was a visiting card to the next big opportunity. Limited space for errors and the need to keep learning concurrent to opportunities was the only way to keep moving. Seldom one could afford Mentors at the growing stage and experience and passion become true mentors. With successful businesses behind, the inner calling took center stage pushing me to document the learning and share the experiences of success for posterity which was at the core of becoming an author. My first book “The Art of Building Experiential Events” was published in 2018 and is today a curriculum in few institutions and is today an event designer’s almanac.

The first book was for the Event business while my latest book “Ignitions of Inspiration” is dedicated to the dynamic spirit of first-generation entrepreneurs, who have braved the toughest of situations and have traversed unknown territories fighting, surviving, and staying in the game! Derived from first-hand experience of having built, operated, managed and transferred over 3 successfully running businesses, this book talks about Temptations, shortcuts, bypasses, impulses, inclinations, wolfishness, insatiability, and a whole world of false promises keep showing up in the journey of a first gen entrepreneur. A true and balanced entrepreneur is built to withstand the weather and storm with a single-point focus on playing the game for long! Ignitions of Inspiration, traces the tyrannical situations and the grit that helps tame them!

ES. Could you please share with us some of the highlights of the book?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. My latest book “Ignitions of Inspiration” talks about the challenges & solutions for the “First Generation Entrepreneurs” of the educated Indian geography. A first generation entrepreneur is a self made person, a bag of mixed experiences, high aspirations and big dreams. They are loaded with high energy and fused with undying passion to create a space for them. They are not blessed with red carpet they have limited space for errors, they are self starters, and are highly motivated. The time they take to recoup is super fast, their ability to run past failures is commendable and their focus on success is impeccable. They come around with a positive aura, every meeting is a visiting card for their future, and every assignment is a step closer to their dream of creating success. They seldom can afford mentors, the World is their School, and each experience is their teacher. They are the quickest to adapt, fastest to change & committed to their dream. First generation entrepreneurs are a beast wired differently, ability to gallop, tame trying situations, beat competition with out of the box solutions.

This book is a treasure of Real Life Learning’s of a “First generation MANY time Successful Entrepreneur”, & will be reference point for all aspiring Entrepreneurs & Startups to be in the game, to build a space & WIN. The book features100 Business Anecdotes drawn from challenges & Failures of Building Successful Businesses in the SME circuit, Business Stories that helps get NEW PERSPECTIVES when faced with failure, and Business Articles for the Startup Community.

ES. “In Pursuit of Perfection & In Search of Excellence my Journey of connecting with professionals is on over drive.” Where do you see yourself today and what are your upcoming plans?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. Every meeting opens up a new direction and every assignment helps feed the hunger to keep growing. The entrepreneurial journey is a mixed bag of adventure and a double edged sword. Playing it with agility, working with sincerity, and delivering to the max, helps build relationships that turn lifelong friendships and associations. Media Point has been the purpose and reason for us to invest in other businesses and build forging associations and winning friends, who have been our advisors, mentors and well wishers.

Our work and deliverance has been the intrinsic reason for our sustenance and the trust we have carefully built greatly helped in remaining above the water through tough times. We have worked tirelessly on all assignments keeping the interest of our clients ahead of everything else, which has won us the position of a dependable partner which is a big recognition that we take pride of.

We are today working on unveiling a #MadeInIndia immersive platform for MSME’s and Start-ups which we believe will give us a runway to prove ourselves again and enable bring in solutions inspired from the 4000+ Experiential events that we have delivered in the last 2+ decades. Also on the anvil is expansion of our Media Point Academy that currently specializes in training young talents with the right exposure to become #Eventpreneurs by adding special Industry led Programs for Startups.

ES. How do you ensure your writings are captivating and informative? What would you say is the most difficult part of being an Author?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. While the Event Industry is regaining from its slumber from the pandemic, I firmly believe that the Industry will be more Hybrid driven. The Hybrid Event is a wonderful blend of a small crowd engaging with unlimited virtual guests armed with smart tools and leveraging the most from the virtual networking. The Hybrid Format is not just for the current times but is here to stay with virtual audiences, smart polls, online awards, walkthrough expos, gaming-based annual parties, and so on.

The ‘Made in India’ Hybrid Solution has arrived and is all set to reign over town halls to annual parties, boutiques to premium weddings, award nights to musical rhapsodies. The RoI of these Hybrid Events can be assessed from the crowd responses participating in these events. The Indian event industry is about INR 100 Bn and employs 20% of the Unorganized Workforce of India directly and indirectly. The Indian Event Management teams are well known for frugal innovations and are best at reinventing and re-engineering themselves adapting to change.

ES. What are the current trends in the Event Industry? What are your projections for 2022 and ahead?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. The format of Hybrid and Blended events are a here to stay and re-skilling aligned to technology is the only way to remain relevant. Presently Hybrid Events go beyond a live stream to engage both virtual and in-person audiences through chat, streaming, networking, and more. From planning pre-event engagements to special experiences on the D-Day, the Hybrid Experiences have brought a whole new meaning to experiential events.

The Indian Events industry professionals are transforming the landscape of events. In true spirit, they are the torch bearers of change who pre-empt and offer solutions that are globally competitive, wholesome, holistic, simple, economical yet powerful. Quick adoption of technology and blending it into the event space has helped organizations like Media Point stay afloat. The days ahead are with those agencies who have a good grasp of technology that will bridge the gap between Real and Real time, Live and Virtual audiences, On ground with Remote Immersive experiences.Data (Security & Quality) will be the decider to win assignments. The reason to award assignments is likely to be driven by the following

  • Solutions that extend the lifetime of Events and expos
  • SMART tools that are elastic yet economical
  • Data analytics with real time dashboards
  • Intelligent suggestive engines specific to specialized vertical based requirements
  • Robust tech team alongside live on ground team to code custom solutions that are niche

The rules of the game will involve deeper participation from stakeholders, who understand, appreciate and deliver solutions that are user friendly, less complex and more dynamic.

ES. With each role, comes different responsibilities, how do you minimize your role conflict and time pressures that lead to daily stress and strain?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. The best way to beat stress and strain is to fall in love with your work or work in a space that is fulfilling and energizing. Coming from the celebratory space of building experiential solutions, solitude for me comes from writing and mentoring startups. Every moment is learning and we are here for a purpose.

When away from work, my day revolves around reading history, politics and jotting down ideas for the next work that is to be published. Being a deeply religious person, meditation, prayers are a part of daily life and that keeps the energy balanced and helps in remaining focused and humble.

ES. Would you like to give out any message to your readers?

Dr. Deepak Swaminathan. The pandemic has taught us an invaluable lesson to place relationships over profit and people over problems. With no time to pause, the World was suddenly halted, flooded with emptiness and unending time on hand. Realization and compassion helped tide over any hurdle. It is imperative for us to be more sensitive, responsible and idealistic in treading in the years to come. Celebrate every moment and thank for the blessings to have held on to ourselves in the last 2 years. Good days are here again, play it well, play safe.

Every effort is challenged, every idea is questioned. Infuse passion power it with grit blend it with belief and Every effort gets recognized and every idea is awarded.
A compulsive many time SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur, Deepak believes in building sustainable business models in the SME space that opens up numerous opportunities for capable talents.