Women Entrepreneurs

International Event Planning Powerhouse Shubhra Bhardwaj Is Living Life More Than On Weekends

Shubhra Bhardwaj is one of India's fast-rising, large-scale event planning specialists. Her company Ferriswheel Entertainment is taking the region by storm.
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Shubhra Bhardwaj, founder of Ferriswheel Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

Imagine your life constantly being surrounded by celebrations and parties on the global scale. That is what Shubhra Bhardwaj, founder and creative director of Ferriswheel Entertainment Pvt Ltd., gets to do for a living.

“Ferriswheel is a specialized company that designs and executes large-scale public events using unique creative and technological innovation. It is a one-stop destination for turnkey projects, entertainment solutions and content for event companies, production houses, television channels, amusement parks and all entertainment related agencies,” Bhardwaj said.

Bhardwaj was born in Baroda, India. She traveled the country a lot due to her father’s work, and found a love for literature, arts and travel at an early age.

“My family is a wonderful dysfunctional bunch of people who have a brave non-conformist view of life. I give complete credit of who I am today to the freedom, upbringing and faith my childhood offered me,” Bhardwaj said.

She spent most of her childhood growing up in smaller districts in Gujarat and Dehli.

“Living in small districts gave me a kind of grass root understanding of life and performing arts that big cities do not allow. I always had leadership skills and was extremely active in school. I was never in the background and always led from the front, heading cultural spaces in school in extra-curricular activities,” said Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj did not always know she would go into the event planning business. At the time, the event planning industry was not as it is today. It was not as structured, nor was it as big and prominent.

“We started as a content providing agency which was delivering live entertainment content to platforms across the globe and within the industry until we became strong enough to become competition to long standing agencies which we had been vendors to,” she stated.

Her company, Ferriswheel was soon born. She had spent 15 years in the entertainment world. This soon brought her further into event planning.  In India, there was more focus on the skilled work force, rather than the artists or the clients. After travelling the world, she began to see a new side to the entertainment world.

Bhardwaj stated, “With my keen eye for detail, I decided to set up an organization, which challenged norms, creative conventions and management practices setting a benchmark for the industry.  Ferriswheel was the result of a few years of wantig to create a cutting edge, niche and extremely professional agency. This whole process was extremely exciting and enriching experience for me.”

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Shubhra and her children.

“The first step to a startup is the decision. Then will power, determination and consistency. The other aspects are just nuts and bolts,” she added in regards to the beginning process.

Ferriswheel has put on some very big events, such as the 28th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2014 in Haryana. According to the Haryana Tourism website, “The Mela celebrates the unique diversity of Indian traditions and culture in a ambience, created to represent the ethos of rural India. Surajkund International Crafts Mela showcases some of the most exquisite handlooms and handicrafts of India. Handmade fabrics soaked in ethnic colours make an eye catching display for the visitors” (haryanatourism.gov.in).

Ferriswheel also put on the 4th World Cup Kabaddi Punjab 2013. According to Ferriswheel’s website, “The company executed two ninety minute live stadium events, at two separate venues.”

There are many steps that are taken to plan an event. First, it depends on the size of the event.

“Stadiums and festivals take months to prepare while corporate shows roll out in three days sometimes. There is a universe of agencies aligned with us to deliver work. It takes a lot of thorough coordination, planning and good organizational skills to execute events smoothly. I am proud of my team. They are absolutely phenomenal in their approach and quality of delivery of events to our clients,” she stated.

It is being able to work and create events of all sizes that has shaped Ferriswheel into the company Shubhra Bhardwaj always wanted.

“The company is shaping up as I had envisioned it to be. The structure, business that we are picking up, the creativity of our presentation and the way we as a brand are being perceived is all as per plan. Although structurally and in management practices, we have to constantly upgrade as we are growing and becoming more mature as a unit,” she stated.

The planning of the events are great to Bhardwaj, but it is what the events bring her that made her fall in love with her career.

“My absolute favorite part of the company is the people that it brings into my life – every single day. I have had many wonderful experiences, made friends, worked with the brightest minds and skilled professionals within the country and globally. I find it engaging to discover different aspects of life through people’s life experiences,” she stated.

Along with meeting new people, Bhardwaj also enjoys the traveling aspect too.

“I have great affection towards my suitcase and travel kits and packing and traveling that doesn’t get me tired or cribbing after continuous exhaustive travel,” she said.

Her favorite events to plan are the very big large scale events such as the stadium ceremonies and state celebrations.

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Shubhra at work hosting a festival.

“[These events] use up all my faculties and have me ticking. I enjoy the rough edges and the glamour of how we convert a normal stadium into a spectacular show venue. Also it’s exciting to have thousands of cast and scope to make superb props and costumes and experiment technically. Push the envelope for what the world has seen and do more,” Bhardwaj said about large-scale events.

For Bhardwaj, Ferriswheel is more than just a career or a job. It is a lifestyle that is helping others see the best parts of life.

“I believe in the originality and freedom of expression of each individual. My effort is to let each individual manifest his or her potential through creative expression and opportunities that Ferriswheel offers on a regular work-day. Life cannot only be lived on weekends. It has to be enjoyed fully every moment, every day,” Bhardwaj stated.

For more information on Bhardwaj or Ferriswheel, please visit www.ferriswheel.in.

kayleneKaylene Hersey is an intern at Lioness and is currently a senior creative writing major at Western New England University. She is from Colchester, Conn. Besides writing, she has a passion for baking and dancing, and she hopes one day to work in the Editing and Publishing world. If that fails, she plans to open up her own bakery.