I have been a regular visitor to Watch World Awards, ever since its inception 6 years back. And every time I visit this prestigious event, I can sense the stature and dedication of the team growing a notch higher, to make this event better than the last one.
Considering that it’s weird for me to say and admit that the last I talked to the master mind behind this event i.e. Mitrajit Bhattacharya, was 5 years back. However, once I stepped inside the event venue this time, I just knew I had to interact with him and so I did.
Here are the excerpts…
SV: How would you define the journey of WWA in the last 6 years?
MB: Incredible, in one word. The fact that we have hardly changed the core of the awards i.e the nomination and the jury process, confirms that we got it right from the word go. However, inspite of keeping the core intact, the celebrations have grown in stature every passing year.
Leading names like Raghavendra Rathore, Rohit Bal, Priyadarshini Rao (fashion), Ravi Shastri, Michael Ferreira, Adhiraj Singh, Ayaz Memon (Sports), Neeraj Pandey, Apoorva Lakhia (cinema), Antoine Simonin (watchmaking) and many more, having been involved as the jury, the awards have always been respected across the globe.
To add to the glamour quotient, we have had Delhi and Gurgaon swish set mingle with Bollywood celebs like Preity Zinta, Neha Dhupia, Aditi Rao Hydari, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Kabir Khan, Jimmy Shergill, Shriya Saran, Nimrat Kaur, Yami Gautam at the red carpet.
SV: What were the challenges that you had to face during this journey?
MB: The key challenges were two:
1) To get a jury which is competent yet unbiased
2) To get international brands from Switzerland and Japan participate in an award based out of India
SV: India is still an evolving market for luxury, how according to you WWA contributes as, in making people more inclined and recognizing the efforts that go behind making these timeless time-pieces
MB: Yes, that’s precisely the reason why we had instituted the WWA. We believe we are a change agent in this ever growing luxury market in India. These awards bring watches right in the centre of conversation for the target group.
SV: How difficult a job it is to track down the ‘know-hows’ and ˜where-abouts’ of so many brands from across the globe?
MB: That’s our job and as specialists we pride ourselves in doing that well.
SV: Did you marketing background contributed in better planning of WWA? If so, then how?
MB: Successful execution of any large event is possible only by combined efforts of competent teams and not one individual.
SV: But how did the shift happen? Have you always had passion for time-pieces?
MB: Marketing is universal. It needs calibration depending on the category you work for. Once we started the journey of working on watches 15 years ago, we realized we needed to be on top of the knowledge game to set the rules in a growing market which was rapidly changing.
SV: Which one is your ˜love of all time” watch brand (specific model) and why?
MB: I will definitely not answer on a specific model but as genres I like complications and simplicity. As it is difficult to create extremely complicated watches, it is equally difficult to create a classic simple timepiece which transcends generations.
SV: If you ever had to launch your own watch brand in India. What kind of watches would you make?
MB: I have dreams but it will take time.
SV: What are the new additions that we can expect from WWA in the future?
MB: Nothing. And everything! We do not change things for the sake of it. At the same time we continuously change with times as need be. In short, the core doesn’t change but newer categories get added and dropped.