Michael Menezes moved event management out of the mom-and-pop space: Sanjoy K Roy
Guest Column: Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, remembers Showtime chairman and EEMA founder Michael Menezes’ sagacity, benevolence and generosity
Michael Menezes rarely pulled his punches and was always happy to call a spade a spade. Among the pillars of the nascent events Industry, he was instrumental in converting a once frowned upon activity into a professional space, and moved it out of the mom and pop mindset to create Showtime.
A motivated learner and teacher, Michael is known as much for the events that’s he pioneered as for the people he mentored. Legions of event managers owe their world to him. Empathetic, interested and engaged he was always curious and wanted to discover the next big thing!
10 years ago, egged on by Rajeev Jain and Vijay Arora, he helped set up EEMA, the nodal body for Events and Entertainment. As its first President, he worked closely with colleagues from across the country to build awareness, create opportunities and professionalise a space that sorely needed templates and good management practices. When I first went out to speak at EEMA 8 years ago, I didn’t quite understand the breadth and potential of the existing industry segment and its only over many a cup of coffee that he walked me through this new world.
Over the years, Michael has been a go-to person for many of us. It was he and Sabbas Joseph who spend hours persuading me to take on the presidentship of EEMA. He was EEMA’s ombudsman and an ongoing member of the National Advisory Council and always happy to help navigate this difficult space as well as use his good offices to mediate between companies and clients in resolving sticky issues that came up from time to time.
Always up for a coffee, enthused about new ideas he put together a succession plan for Showtime and groomed Avik Prabhu who now leads the group and truly is reflective of his philosophy and legacy. He then went on to devote time to his passion for holistic healing – The Ek Prana Foundation. An ambitious idea to take the learnings of traditional healing and use these scientifically in the prevention and to improve life practices for corporates.
A few weeks ago, we had Michael and Jean come to our annual Jaipur Literature Festival and create a morning segment around the wellness with practitioners, mindful speakers, yoga and meditation guru’s, providing insight into our body and its connection to the world. Needless to say, it was a wonderful initiative and much appreciated by the legions of guests who pour into Jaipur each year.
Michael passed in the way that he would have loved to – with the least fuss and bother! I take this occasion to raise a toast to him and on behalf of the events fraternity thank him for his sagacity, benevolence and generosity!
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