[Interview] Ishrat Joosub, Founder/Event Planner, Outlandish Events, South Africa
Ishrat Joosub started her events management company following years of experience in organizing successful events, parties and corporate functions.
Her interview with Africa Business Communities:
Please introduce Outlandish Events.
Outlandish Events is a full-on event management company. We do all types of parties (bridal showers, baby showers, high teas, charity events, kids’ and adult birthday parties, fundraisers, product launches and corporate functions) and take care of each and every detail so our clients can actually sit back and really enjoy their function instead of stressing about the planning and management. We offer personalized and creative party solutions and it’s our objective ensure every party is unique and memorable.
How did Outlandish Events come to be?
I worked in the call center industry for a while and then moved on to graphic design – this was a dream for me as creating is what I love to do. But then being human, I soon got bored with it, with having to work constantly with just two colors. So I started planning fun competitions and various events for the staff to create some fun around the office for the various call centers. I was given the opportunity to plan a Call Center launch party when the company signed Samsung onboard to host their call centers. The party was a smashing success and I was soon given the title of Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator. From there, I started planning various functions from the annual red carpet awards evening, yearend functions, product launches, conferences and summits. It was challenging and fun and I loved it. That path led me to Outlandish Events.
Why did you quit your job to start Outlandish Events?
I always dreamed of being self-employed and building a successful business as well as becoming a successful independent businesswoman. When issues surfaced about finding someone reliable to take care of my children while I was stuck in a 7–4 job, the perfect opportunity came up to open this business. I planned my daughter’s first birthday party and both friends and family were very impressed. They motivated me to turn that into a business. I was skeptical for a while about missing out on family time on the weekends. To me, family trumps all else. Eventually I weighed the pros and the cons and came to the conclusion that I would actually get to spend six days with my family and just one day away for functions and that worked out well for us.
What is most rewarding about running your own business?
I can basically work from anywhere and anytime as long as I have a stable internet connection. My client base is mainly in Johannesburg. We are located in Roodepoort. The fact that I can work anytime and anywhere makes me love what I do even more. They say “do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life”. Needless to say that is exactly how I feel about running my company.
Who are your clients?
My clients are people such as Directors, CEOs, CFOs, Managers, head of departments and business owners. They are decision makers and are people who live a luxurious lifestyle and want to stand out from the rest. Outlandish Events is mostly serves successful people who have an “over the top” lifestyle. Our clients are the type of people that prefer to have a “personal party planner” at their fingertips. However we do try to accommodate clients from all walks of life as this business is built on passion and creativity.
What can Outlandish Events do that other outfits cannot?
My signature is incredible attention to detail. This is what sets us apart. We’re not just trying to make an event happen, but to make it happen glitch-free. My company creates personalised and unique events. We are always up to date with the latest international trends in party planning and we incorporate that in all our parties. We are determined that our clients have no stress during party preparations and on the event day itself, and we achieve this.
What does Outlandish Events need to be able to grow?
Lots of Google Advertising and more staff. I do hire on contract basis, but I would love to have an admin person to take care of the emails, phone calls and proposals while I focus on the bigger stuff! We are also in need of more exposure in the media because we want to be known and easily recognised amongst the best in the industry.
What are your ambitions in terms of (international) markets, growth?
Expansion is on my mind all the time. I want to spend more time and money growing my company in terms of brand awareness and staff expansion. I want to invest in cutting edge advertising. My goal is to make this business an empire where my children can one day take over and take it to new heights. I want my signature party styling to be recognized across South Africa and to be recognized as THE best party planner around!
What do you want people and companies that read this interview to do?
We want them to give Outlandish Events a try at their functions and private parties. Let us impress them and their guests. We want the corporate companies to give Outlandish Events a go with their corporate functions as we have years of experience in managing corporate events. Initially that’s where we started, in the corporate world. We are here to impress and add the wow factor to their events. If you want your party to be the talk of the town, then what better way to give Outlandish Events a chance? We want to be your personal party planner!
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