1. You have managed to combine studies and event management business pursuits. How have you managed this, keeping in mind the pressures of both activities?
Imtisal: I think like anything else in life, it is important to learn how to strike a balance between things. Where as LUMS and event management both together are extremely stressful to manage, I have been able to tackle both to a degree of success. However, there are always costs involved in such a situation when you’re balancing two things. Because my work has always been very important to me I have had to forgo a lot of stuff that constitute college life. I don’t regret my decisions though primarily because they have given me the opportunity to do in life what I am the most passionate about.
2. Knowing event management at so early an age is it sheer inborn talent or is it attributable to some ‘gurus’?
Imtisal: I would say it is a bit of both. You need to have an aesthetic eye for it. And also the ability to envision how your concept and ideas will look like once executed. But that alone is not enough. I believe that event management is a constant learning process. We feel that we grow better with each event we do. There’s a world of a difference in what our first event was and to what we do now. My tenure at J&S also taught me quite a few tricks of the trade and when I branched out my skills got polished over time.
Arsalan: It does come naturally, the creative side that is. But you tend to learn a lot from your own experience. Both of us have worked in event management before, Imtisal in J n S and I worked with IQPC in Sydney.
3. Tell us about Verve, the name, services you offer and future plans for the company?
Imtisal: Verve means ‘enthusiasm’, ‘zeal and zest’, ‘dynamism’. A close friend of mine came up with this idea and Arsalan (my business partner) and I felt that it best defines our brand philosophy and us. We currently are offering full fledge event management services, PR & media activities and campaigns, experiential marketing services, brand activations, product launches etc. Our immediate future plans are to solidify our presence in the Lahore and Islamabad market before we venture out into other directions.
Arsalan: Same as Imtisal answer.
4. What do you consider the bright spot of your career till now?
Arsalan: I think our latest events speak for themselves, Clients such as Ufone, Huawei and Pepsi have proven us in the market. In Islamabad and Lahore.
Imtisal: There are quite a few actually. One of the most prominent projects we’ve done so far is the launch of Hardees in Pakistan. Other than that the fact that in such a short span of time we have been able to develop a great repute with corporate clients such as UFone, Huawei, Pepsi etc is something we’re really proud of. But generally, the fact that both Arsalan and I have had no backing in terms of our career and we started out from literally scratch and have made a decent name for ourselves is something that we are quite proud of. It has been a long hard journey, especially considering the current political and security situation of the country.
5. What is your biggest fear; from competitors, of course?
Arsalan: None. My fear is only another bad recession or more terrorism in the country and elsewhere.
Imtisal: No fear from competitors really. Competition, I have always believed is healthy. It helps you evaluate yourself. My fear is from the security situation in the country. That is the single factor that affects and jeopardizes our work more than anything else
6. Have you managed the events all by yourself or is a team in place?
Arsalan: Two of us…. Imtisal Zafar and Arsalan Khan, we started the company together. And we have a team that works for us in making it all possible.
Imtisal: Initially we were essentially just a two-piece team with an assistant helping us out. However, now as the scale of projects that we’re getting is increasing we have had to make a much larger team. So we have graphic designers on board, a proper execution and management team. We are very fortunate to have a very energetic and efficient team, which enables us to execute our projects with great quality.
7. The events that you organize do cost a lot of money and do you think enough value is added to such events by your being there?
Imtisal: Absolutely. It is not just about value-addition. It is more about the fact that our being there means that we will execute the event the way it was conceptualized and in the manner it was committed to the client. We never leave any event to be handled just by our team. Either Arsalan or I have to be present there to supervise the entire event.
Arsalan: Events can be expensive, it all depends on the clients need. When we do our parties, their expensive to attend because we offer a premium service.
8. What are your plans for the next five years?
Imtisal: We certainly want to expand. But before that there is still a lot to do in Lahore and Islamabad, the two cities we are currently doing events in. In the next 5 years I see ourselves expanding Verve in directions other than event management as well and also take our expertise beyond borders.
Arsalan: THE HOUSE OF VERVE!! You will all know what that means…… when the time is right.
Exclusively Imtisal Zafar and Arsalan Khan from Verve Event Management Talks to Fashion Central