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India Nightlife Convention & Awards (INCA) 2019 holds its fourth edition

By Asmita Mukherjee

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 18:28 Hrs  [IST]

The fourth edition of India Nightlife Convention & Awards (INCA), 2019 was recently held at The St. Regis, Mumbai. INCA has been celebrating the nightlife and hospitality industry in India for the last three years through insightful panel discussions among industry stalwarts and has also been recognising the achievers of the industry through an award ceremony. The two-day event was sponsored by Heineken & Chivas.

The Convention & Awards ceremony started with a grand inauguration in the presence of Shekhar Ramamurthy, MD of United Breweries Ltd; Aman Anand, Co-founder of INCA & Director of Kickstart Entertainment; Riyaaz Amlani -CEO & MD of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality and Co-founder of INCA; Anurag Katriar, President of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI); Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO of The Beer Café; Fernando Pint, Co-founder of INCA; and Nishant Jain, General Manager of Pernod Ricard .

Speaking about the fourth edition of INCA, Aman Anand, and Co-founder of INCA & Director of Kickstart Entertainment said, "After I quite my last job, I wanted to start something on my own. Most of the event categories had by then already been focussed upon by event companies, but nobody was organising any convention or award ceremony on such a huge platform. Hence we entered this category. INCA aims at building a cohesive coalition for the nightlife industry across India. We are not just disruptive in our vision, but also in our endeavour and our methods to bring the industry together."

While explaining about the event and its growth, Anand pointed out, "We had over 130 jury members with us for the first edition, and since then it has come along very nicely. Every year we have been growing at a fast pace. This year we have Cavalli Dubai, House of Yes, NGO Night Mayor of Amsterdam as partners. We also have support across the industry with the National Restaurant Association of India also supporting us for the past few years. So, we are concentrating on boarding big partners every year, and in future we hope to keep growing."

The two day event included a series of panel discussions and an award ceremony to felicitate the best in the nightlife and hospitality industry in each city across the country.

Eminent personalities from around the world such as Lutz Leichsenring (Club Commission of Berlin), Mirik Milan (Former Nightlife Mayor of Amsterdam), Ramon de Lima (Chairman, NGO Night Mayor of Amsterdam), David Lopez (Deputy Director of the Costa Este's Group, Spain), Nino Brown (DJ/Promoter), Monica Dogra (Actress/DJ/Singer), Anya Sapozhnikova (Creative Director - House of Yes) especially travelled to Mumbai and brought their perspective of the nightlife industry from across the world to benefit the Indian nightlife scenario.

Staying Logged Out
A discussion on the current scenario of the #Logout movement spearheaded by NRAI was moderated by Karan Khetarpal, CEO, Indian Express Commercial Ventures Ltd; with panelists Riyaaz Amlani, Co-founder of INCA and CEO & MD Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd; Anurag Katriar, President of INCA & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality Pvt Ltd; Priyank Sukhija, CEO & MD First Fiddle F&B Pvt Ltd; and Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO, The Beer Cafe.
Rahul Singh, Founder & CEO, The Beer Cafe, who was also the former president of NRAI said, "Every restaurateur has similar problems. Even though we are competitors, there has always been sensible competition. The problem regarding aggregators was a common problem, but nobody was taking an initiative and on the 14th of August 2019 we decided to log out from food aggregator platforms such as Zomato, Swiggy, and Nearbuy." The panellists expressed that the logout programme was not a forced campaign, but a voluntarily log out programme.

Anurag Katriar, President of INCA & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality Private Limited said, "People are logging out because they realised that the current aggregators are helping no one, the aggregators are losing money, we, the restaurateurs are losing money, jobs are being lost, and the industry also is not getting any benefits. Going forward, we think our job is to keep educating our peers. Through its logout campaign, NRAI has reached to at least 10 cities. And we are sure it will be more exponential as we go forward with our campaign. NRAI is leading the fight, and it doesn't matter whether a restaurant is our member or not, as anybody can support the cause. The idea is not to be against these food service aggregators but to get their terms and conditions aligned."

Discount has always been a privilege to the customer, not just in the food business but in e-commerce also. Riyaaz Amlani, Co-founder of INCA and CEO & MD Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Private Limited commented, "Customers are not really looking for discount. I don't believe they are only coming for discount. They are coming for privilege, they are coming to be recognised, and they are coming to be treated nicely, which can also be fulfilled with maybe a complimentary glass of champagne or a dessert."

Though the panellist agreed that sales have dropped over the last one month, they also pointed out that the banning of food aggregators was not the reason behind dropping of sales, but the drop was more due to the festival season. They were positive about the pickup of sales in coming months.

At the closure of the session, the panellists invited more restaurateurs to join the cause - #logout.

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