Every event worth its salt in the city sees a few familiar faces. Their presence is considered a must - one, because they command a host of fans in social circles, and two because they have unparalleled disposable income.
These ladies (and a few gentlemen) dress up, show up and do all that needs to be done to sensationalise the event and win it space in the media, including social media. They are known as “lucky charms” to senior event managers who understand that if these five or six people are invited, then the rest of the guest list is a breeze.
Satish Jupiter, one of Chennai’s best-known event planners, says, “There are a few people that everyone wants at their events. Shop owners and hotels feel they will boost their business. Most of them are part of exclusive Whatsapp groups and kitties.”
Rachna Kumar, a gourmet menu planner and key member of FICCI FLO, is sought after in all bureaucratic and police circles. She is one of the chosen ones for events because she can get the powerful to attend. “I find great joy in going for events and it’s all about celebrating the city’s culture and lifestyle. I don’t look at the business side. It’s all about meeting friends over new concepts of fashion and lifestyle. We learn a lot and also have a really good time. With me there’s always a set of friends who attend events, so it becomes a nice outing for us girls too”, says Rachna.
Always dressed in creations of India’s best designers, Kavita Modi comes from a family of industrialists and is an etiquette expert who has a fit group of friends thanks to her regular fitness routines. Her name features on all the best event guest lists thanks to her reach to industrialists and the fashion fraternity. She shares, “I truly take every invite seriously and I understand what goes into putting big events together. I show up as a mark of respect and it so happens that my fashion choices impress and that gets spoken about. But to me, it’s about supporting people who are entrepreneurs or start-ups. If my presence can help, I make it a point to be there to support them.”
A few others in this league are Vandana Srikanth, wife of actor Srikanth, Aditya Roongta, Former Chief of Young Indians, art curator Sharan Apparao, and Fashionista and dessert diva Shradha Lulla.
One of the city’s most loved diplomats and now also a trade ambassador, AK Tareen makes it to the choicest events. He says “I get invited to all kinds of events and it helps me understand the emerging facets of commerce, culture and this city better. I don’t turn down any invite if I have the time. As a trade ambassador and representative of the Sultanate of Oman I find it essential to build cultural ties.”
Celebrity publicist and PR professional Sunita Suresh reveals, “Nowadays people want quality and not quantity. We are given clear briefs by businesses and events to host only influencers with a certain benchmark lifestyle. We have moved away from filling up guest lists just to show a crowd. We are talking return on investment, organic sales and PR outreach. Having high net worth ladies who spend makes a difference to any launch.”
Selfies on Facebook or Instagram alone don’t help a business that is into luxury. The city seems to be buying into the exclusivity of these lucky charm influencers who don’t make a hue and cry on social media but work in magical ways on exclusive Whatsapp groups, at dinner table conversations and in select interactions.