From Kyunki Saas Bhi… to Tranquil Weddings – TV actor, model and entrepreneur Pooja Ghai’s journey
From daily soaps Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Virasat, where she played myriad roles, be it that of a good daughter, or a haughty wife or even a princess, 39-year-old Pooja Ghai, model, TV actor and now entrepreneur, has embraced each of her roles with ease and style.
From reel to real life, Pooja has donned other hats too. She is a mother to a 14-year-old boy and Founder and MD of Tranquil Weddings, which specialises in destination weddings.
“I always had entrepreneurship on the back of my mind even when I was in the TV industry but since I was enjoying what I was doing I continued with it. TV was buzzing then and had good content, but as the quality of content began declining my interest started weaning. So I went ahead and got started,” Pooja, who joined modelling in 2000, says.
She initially started with event management in 2006 and over the months realised that corporate events were not as exciting as weddings. Handling the hospitality aspect of the wedding of a big client turned to be the clincher for her. From that moment on she decided to dive into the wedding industry.
Pooja says, “Weddings are creative and give one a lot of scope and liberty to innovate and create. Weddings are vibrant, there is so much to do: from invitations, bridal trousseau to theme of the wedding to food and décor.” Pooja likes to be a part of each and every aspect of the wedding she plans.
What she loves most is being a part of the family, understanding the family dynamics and the bonds the bride and groom share, and use it all to create the most important day of their life.
“It requires a thorough study and the expertise to pick up on small and minute elements of the life of the bride and groom,” she explains.
In the process Pooja herself forms close bonds with the client and the family and she calls it a very fulfilling experience.
“No two weddings are the same,” says Pooja. But a lot of effort and thought goes into it to keep it that way.
Since most are destination weddings, it involves a lot of travel and meetings, which means Pooja is constantly on the move. Pooja’s client list has some big names such as the Biyanis, the Dhoots and Nepal millionaire Binod Choudhary.
Pooja engages with a team of 30-40 people, depending on the requirements of the wedding. “We do a complete rehearsal, be it the bride and groom walking together, to other event logistics like light, sound and every other minute detail that needs our attention. Since we have been working together for the last five to six years, my entire team knows my style of working. The mantra is to make sure that you make the family feel on top of the world and never say no for anything, no matter what the requirement will be, even if it means that the client needs a helicopter to be arranged in the next four hours.,” Pooja adds.
What has spelled success for Pooja is her sheer hardwork. “All of it has been through word of mouth,” she says, about the clientele she has built over the years.
On what makes her different from others, she says,
“It is the connect I form with people. I spend time with the family and share meals with them.”
Though she is a familiar face from TV she ensures that she always grounded and approachable.
As the conversation steers to the world of TV and modelling, Pooja says she enjoyed the TV world and was so busy that she was sometimes shooting multiple commercials in a day.
Pooja has had a hectic life and as an actor shoots took a lot of her time. As an entrepreneur she travels
extensively, given her nature of work. “When you are your own boss you can plan your schedule better. And in my current line of work I do get a long break during the off-seasons, from June to September. I spend that time at home with family and that is when we plan our family vacations,” she adds.Pooja’s mother has been her primary pillar of support. “I am really lucky to have my mother. She has been there for me right from the time my son was born; she was always there to take care of him when I was away on work. She has stood by me, supported me and encouraged me and always celebrated my success,” she says.
Five years down the line
Pooja believes that life is not about extremes, so her motto is to always maintain a balance in life. The happiness and the love she receives from her clients after the wedding keeps her motivated.
Five years down the line, she wants to be global and more accessible. She sees her brand as an international one with offices in five different cities. She is looking to plan more international weddings, be it in London, Dubai, Hong Kong or New Jersey. With a spring in her step, she looks forward to more beautiful destinations, beautiful settings and perfect weddings.