‘Keeping it Simple’ with Nirjary Desai
Nirjary Desai sheds light on how keeping it simple will always bring extraordinary success. Desi girl magazine believes in inspiring our readers with stories of women from all walks of life. Nirjary dazzled us with her vibrant personality in an interview with Urvi Shah of Desi girl magazine.
Get to know Nirjary…
Nirjary Desai is a top Southeast Asian event producer. She is the CEO and Founder of KIS (cubed) events. KIS (cubed) events, a woman-owned business, specialize in organizing one-of-a-kind event experiences for global brands and celebrities. Her professional goal is to awe those who walk into her events with her unique style. She goes by her mantra,
“Every moment is unique, the experiences should be memorable, and when you walk into space, my style should stand out and be unforgettable.”
Huffington Post, Mandala weddings, and many others have featured her. She has worked with premier brands like Audible by Amazon, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Ritz-Carlton, and Delta Airlines.
Why the name KIS (cubed) events?
While in Marketing school in London, one of her professors introduced her to the KISS principle. The abbreviation expanded to ‘Keep It Simple and Stupid’. Inspires by that, she named her business KIS (cubed), meaning ‘Keep It Simple, Keep It Sophisticated, and Keep It Stylish’.
How did it all start?
When she was in college, she was in charge of the ‘India Night’ show at the University of South Carolina. Back then, she was still in search of her unique path. Afterward, her career began in the airline industry. After that, she progressed to the luxury hotel industry, where she did marketing, sales, and brand management. During all this, she observed that she was interested in the events side of things.
After all, She wasn’t interested in just planning or putting together a spreadsheet. Additionally, she showed equal interest in the layouts, the production, understanding the lighting jargon, and the technical side of things. Later, she realized that learning all these helped her in her job.
Her professional journey…
She did her MBA in International Marketing and Management in London. Her educational background, armed her with the expertise to organize events. Then, she was corporate-trained in the events and hospitality industry for nearly ten years. The practical experience taught her the ins and outs of the events industry. After that, she founded KIS (cubed). And that taught her how to run a business. Even with the educational background and corporate training, there was so much she had to learn on the go. Undoubtedly, there were a lot of challenges and learning curves. But they made her the self-made person she is now.
Being a Globetrotter improved her business acumen..
She was born in Zambia and brought up in South Carolina in the United States. Then, she completed her education in London. Her multicultural exposure made her an avid international traveler. In turn, she learned the rich and diverse cultures, beliefs, and rituals of all civilizations worldwide. Knowledge of how vital those rituals were to people helped her in incorporating them flawlessly into the events. It also helped her, and her team respectfully conducts themselves to people of different cultures. Not offending the elders or beliefs of any culture was their priority.
She possesses a multifaceted personality, and she wears many hats with ease and grace. She is a founder of many businesses, a Mentor, Philanthropist, travel buff, and a celebrated culinary expert.
A champion for women of color, she believes in elevating, inspiring, and empowering them. Her conference series, Leave Her Mark, does precisely that. On top of that, She donates her free time to mentor them.
“For a long time, women have been expected to function behind the scenes. Now, we are at a time when we are ready to come forth and shine in the front. Women now can and should figure out their desires, goals, and careers.”
Nirjary, the Philanthropist, and her team are partners with ‘Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry’. Together, they combat childhood hunger—by helping with fundraising, community education, and meal-packing.
Success to her is…
She reached heights step by step, just like climbing the stairs to reach the top. And consistent hard work and willingness to learn are essential for a business.
“I’m still learning, even after having been in this industry for twenty years. I’ve never stopped learning.”
When asked what success means to her, she replied,
“Success comes with the amount of work you are willing to put in. It’s not something that’s given to you. And please Don’t chase the money. If you are passionate about your work and believe in it wholeheartedly, money will come.”
The secret of her success…
Her priority is to understand what her client wants. Their expectations depend on what they have already seen out there. She likes to go the extra mile and provide them with something they didn’t even know they wanted. She offers them alternative approaches like a unique type of entertainment, a different kind of entry, decoration, menu, presentation, etc. After all, It’s all in the details.
She remarked that transparency is also essential. Quoting the price up front and frankly, is the only way to go. Blindsiding the client later with increased prices will ruin a business’ reputation. On the other hand, underselling will harm the company too. She educates the clients why she charges what she charges. Also, she explains the budget to them in layman’s terms. Moreover, she insists that bargaining doesn’t work in this industry.
People motivate her—especially those who are passionate about bringing about a change and making an impact. Once one figures out what impact one wants to make, everything else in life will fall into place. She believes that that clarity made her a better communicator and leader.
Her gender inequality experience…
When asked if she had experienced gender inequality in her industry, she replied,
“Of course, I experience it all the time.”
Some are under the prejudice Men are more capable than Women. But dealing with such prejudices helped her grow a stronger backbone.
“Being in the service industry demands a lot of patience and a passion for serving. Hold onto it when you need to educate someone on how to respect you. And explain to them clearly what your service does and doesn’t include.”
To future women event organizers…
First, to achieve something, one needs to begin. Nirjary advised,
“Find the right resources and invest in them. Enroll in that class, invest in your business, do that internship. Just don’t be scared to start.”
Next, surrounding oneself with the right tribe is also important. One needs to surround themselves with what’s serving them. Being picky about her inner circle and having the right team to have her back took her a long way.
Last but not the least, obsession is paramount. If one’s not obsessed, they won’t have the drive to succeed. Nirjary stated that obsession is necessary to achieve perfection.
To read about more such inspiring women, go to desigirlmagazine.com.