CHENNAI: The A-Cube Project was the result of one restless night in bed, where I thought to myself what I was doing in life,” exclaims Ambika Ankit Agarwal. She was all of 25 when she started her own venture, an event management company. An engineering graduate, who went on to pursue media and communication, Ambika always knew that she was made for something more creative than doing data entry on the system.
“I started with my husband’s birthday, I organised it and put up the pictures on social media and the next thing I know I started getting more such events,” she says. Believing in the concept that no two events can be the same, if you infuse into it a personal story, Ambika has been successfully organising creative and quirky events in Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa, Udaipur and also in Bangkok. In a tête-a-tête, the young entrepreneur talks about her love for travel, bucket lists and getting over her fears. You mentioned that you were actively involved in college culturals. Is there a particular event that you were fond of?
I love singing. In fact that is how my husband and I met. We used to be a part of the college band. Music is what drives me. I enjoy all genres but I prefer soulful music with lyrics. I am not a big EDM fan, but I love rock, metal and Hindi music, especially songs of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Arijit Singh, etc.
You recently went on your first solo trip. Do you trvael a lot?
Travelling is one of my biggest passions. When I close my eyes I want to see myself smiling and someone who has seen the world. I work hard every day because I had to have enough money in my wallet to be able to travel. My first solo trip was to Shillong (November 2017), I went to see the Cherry Blossom festival. There were many who raised their eyebrows and said ‘oh, travelling solo?’, but I didn’t care. I thought it changed me for the better.
You also have a bucket list of things you want to do. Have you ticked off anything?
I am an adventure sports lover. I have ticked so many things off my list like sky diving. This year when I did my solo trip, for a person who is claustrophobic and also doesn’t know swimming — I love challenging myself, I booked this place at the border of Shillong and Bangladesh and did my first scuba diving there. This time I went to Gili islands and did my third dive there in the ocean, it was so beautiful. And I think life is more beautiful under water.
What is the best thing about travelling?
I love meeting new people. Each individual has a lot to teach you. When you go to different places, you meet new people and when you listen to their problems and stories, all your problems and stress begin to seem like nothing. I think if I don’t put my daughter in college, I would just give her money to backpack and see the world, because it can teach you so much, that books probably can’t.
Are you a foodie? Do you also cook?
There was a time when I used to eat to live, but now I live to eat. That changed because of my best friend, who is in the hotel industry, and she made me eat some really good food. Travelling, eating good food and discovering culture goes together. I love trying new places. I am a huge fan of Asian cuisine; nothing beats it. I am a very moody cook; I don’t go into the kitchen every day. But, I have been told that when I cook, I cook well.
Do you have any hobbies?
I did not know this until last year, but I love gardening. I have seen my mother gardening but never knew I would have a thing for it. So now my office has many plants, mostly low maintenance ones that I procured from different places. It is so therapeutic to wake up in the morning to water them and just see them grow.