CHENNAI:Prince, MD of Sai Solutions, an exhibition and events company has an adventurous heart. “Though my work takes most of my time, I am fuelled by new experiences, people and places I travel to, for work. I take these experiences and curate the exhibitions which make it endearing to people,” he says, seated in his office at KK Nagar. The self-confessed movie enthusiast tells us about his college days and why he thinks he might have had a past-life in Egypt. Excerpts follow.
How far has the exhibition industry grown in the city?
It is picking up pace now but, when you read the industry across the country, it is quite evident that it isn’t being given much importance to. It hasn’t come to its ultimate stage yet. At Sai Solutions we are working towards setting a benchmark exhibition. We do close to five to six exhibitions a year and quality matters, to us, over quantity.
From pharma industry to the exhibition industry, how was the transition?
It was gradual but very enriching. When government policies shifted and a lot of MNCs came into the pharma industry, several local players were swiped out and mine was one of them. I joined as a marketing head with a leading company in the city, gathered experience and went on to do my own project — an exhibition on sound rentals. That’s when I got the idea of starting this company. I enjoy what I do…not many people have the opportunity to dabble with several industries — from camera, sound, stage, cinema sound productions to commercial vehicles, I get to see and learn from it all while curating expos.
After a hectic day at work, how do you unwind?
Honestly, the last two years has always been about work. I get time only on Sundays. I do what I love the most — watch movies. The television becomes my companion and I see almost every other movie on a Sunday. I am a movie buff. I love watching adventure movies and world cinema. I am not a ‘raw viewer’, I know the technicality of movie making and I discuss that with my friends. It has been a habit since college days.
Any noteworthy moments which you recall from your college days?
There are many. Murugavel Janakiraman, the founder of Bharatmatrimony was my collegemate, we shared the same bench. We used to discuss movies and several other things. In fact, when he started Bharatmatrimony, I was supposed to join his venture but, I had other work commitments. I look up to him when it comes to business; the way he has taken the matrimony industry by storm is commendable. I started a band called ‘The Rudras’ when I was in college. We used to participate in every other intercollegiate meet. In a span of three to four years, we did about 500 shows. Lakshman of Lakshman Sruthi was my senior and he would help us with the shows, too. But performing seems to have become a thing of the past for me now, I only listen to songs, especially the ones by Ilaiyaraja.
Since you travel quite often to other cities and countries for work, have you been able to decide your favourite place?
Not really. I travel a lot for business. I have to know how other markets work. I think China is the father of the exhibition industry. But, if there’s a place I would like to travel and explore, it would be Cairo in Egypt. For some reason, I feel I have a connection with that place. A past life in Egypt, maybe? I cannot get the pyramids and massive structures in Egypt out of my head. But maybe my perception will change once I go there. Most places are not how you imagine it to be.
A social cause you want to support?
This is more of a retirement plan. I want to provide rehabilitation to children who are orphaned and also help animals that are abandoned. Everyone needs love and care. I haven’t sketched a plan but, this is what I would like to do.