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How this 24-yr-old Indian boy has takes over London nightlife scene

The same people who would look down upon Bollywood music in India, love to hear it in London; People, who would not spend more than Rs3,000 at my nightclub and events in Mumbai, end up spending around £300 in a nightclub in London

Vedant Mahajan, Founder, MVM Entertainment London

Vedant Mahajan, Founder, MVM Entertainment London

How did your life in London begin?

My London life began when I came here for further studies. I pursued a master's in Entrepreneurship from UCL School of Management. Having done over 250 events in Mumbai, it was my dream to be a part of the hospitality and nightlife industry in the UK.

When I went out with my friends in London, I was really intrigued by the number of bars and nightclubs in London, each of which was conceptually so different from the other, and how every club and bar was always at full capacity even on weekdays. I was surprised to see the same people who would not spend more than Rs3,000 at my nightclub and events in Mumbai, end up spending around £300 in a nightclub in London.

What inspired you to start MVM entertainment?

What inspired me to start MVM Entertainment in London- Since I had been doing events in India for many years, one of my friends from India asked me to host a Diwali event at his restaurant in London. I was skeptical at first, as London was a new city for me, I didn't know too many people and I had only stayed in London for a month. I was scared that nobody would show up for this event and I would end up making a fool of myself. I decided to go ahead with the event. The only reason was that when I go back to Mumbai, I can say that I have done an event in London and that would hold a lot of credibility in the Mumbai nightlife industry. The event ended up being a massive success and that was how MVM Entertainment London started.

If you had to describe what events mean to you, what would that be?

For me, events mean a party which is personalized for you or people like you, where you feel a sense of belonging and you can have a lot of fun. Events consist of three things for me- people, music, and execution. People are probably the most important aspect of an event but not only because without people there cannot be an event. But more importantly, without the right people, you cannot have a successful event. There is a reason we do not sell tickets for our event on an online platform, that's because then anybody can purchase the ticket and come for our events. We like to personally handpick each person that comes for our event based on their age, culture, and gender. An event with mostly boys is not fun for anyone.

Music is certainly a key aspect of a successful event. You need to get the right DJs for the right event who can assess the crowd and tell which song do they want to hear next. I personally love all genres of music from hip-hop to Bollywood, which is why we never stick to only one genre at our events. We probably start off with a bit of deep house and techno then gradually move to hip-hop and more commercial music and then post a certain time once everyone's in the mood, we play everyone's favourite - Bollywood music. Very often according to the crowd's response, well throw in some throwback EDM and pop hits, which will make you nostalgic and take you back in time.

Execution basically means executing all the operations on the day of the event and making sure the event runs smoothly without any glitches or mistakes. Mostly at our events, the demand is a lot more than the supply or capacity of the venue. So we have got to ensure that we do not overcrowd the event, make sure everyone enters smoothly without having to wait for too long, the bottle service is on time, the champagne shows and performances are executed properly and the bills are cleared smoothly

How did you manage to maintain the party vibe during the pandemic?

The pandemic was the most difficult phase of my life. Partying and meeting people, which was essentially my business, had suddenly become the biggest crime ever. We had to completely stop our events overnight and never knew if we could even restart again. Initially, we tried keeping the virtual party's on zoom and via our Instagram page, but they were a massive failure since the whole point of an event is to actually be there for it.

We then started a cocktail premix company called Blend With Benefits. We thought if we couldn't bring people to our parties, we could send the party to the people. Blend With Benefits made a variety of flavoured cocktail premixes and delivered them to your doorstep. People loved the idea and our cocktails but we always knew that this was just temporary business until life goes back to normal.

How would you describe the whole post-pandemic phase for events?

The post-pandemic phase for our events couldn't have gotten any better. We can clearly see a boom in demand and can see students who were forced to sit at home for more than a year are now eager to get out and carry on with their lives. Our company has seen a major growth post-pandemic, much more than we had expected. We have been able to do much bigger events post-pandemic than we ever did or could do in 2019. The pandemic obviously hit our industry the worst but we have bounced back strong and hopeful it should go on this way.

What do you think worked for your company?

I feel there were two factors that really worked for us. The first factor is the fact that I had done over 250 events in the span of three years in India previously, before coming to the UK, and also co-owned a nightclub in Mumbai called Tryst. So I already had a lot of experience in this industry and MVM had a very good name and reputation for years amongst 18-26 year olds in India. So that gave me the confidence to do it on a much larger scale in London. The second and more important factor that really worked in my favour was the fact that I myself was 22 years old when we started off in London and I could easily relate to our target audience as I was one of them. I knew what kind of events they liked, what kind of music they listened to, what is the right way to promote the event and reach out to the audience. Before me, there were other events that took place in London, but their style of events and promotions were outdated as they were run by middle aged men who were not in touch with today's generation. So being a student really worked in my favour.

How are parties different in London & India?

There is a major difference between our parties in India and London. In Mumbai, youngsters and students look down upon Bollywood music, they don't find it cool to listen to it and want to listen to the music they play in western countries mainly- hip-hop, rap, RnB, etc. But in London this is not the case, the same people who would look down upon Bollywood music in Mumbai, love it here in London. It's probably because they are far from home and miss it because they don't get to hear it that often. The clubs in London are very different from the clubs in India. Champagne shows are a big part of the nightclub culture in London. Basically, when you order a champagne bottle in London, there is an entire performance on your table with sparklers, led boards, and other props on your table while presenting your champagne. You can even choose a song which the DJ has to play during this performance, which makes it even more fun.

Also each London club has its own story, concept and theme. For example, Cirque Le Soir is a circus themed club known for its outrageous entertainment and performers. London Reign is a Showclub which aims to combine performance theatre and aerial acts to give you a night to cherish. In India, this culture has definitely started, but isn't fully there yet. Many London nightclub brands have opened franchises in Mumbai and Delhi, and once they see the potential in India, I'm sure many more will open too.

How do you think your venture would pan out in the future?

In the next couple of years, I would like to make MVM global and expand to other countries as well. I do not want to get too ahead of myself, but in London, I would want to start my own restaurants and nightclubs in the near future.

Vincent Fernandes
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