ES. Please take us through your professional journey since inception and some major milestone achieved over the years.
Vertica Dvivedi. Today people tag me with different names, “Award-winning entrepreneur, exhibition organizer, publisher, speaker, community builder for women in design & architecture, Asia Book of record holder for water initiative… and more.”
Sounds fancy but I am none of these.
I came to Delhi in the last decade with a backpack and a few hundred rupees to pursue my dream. My dream was two folds, one for family and another for myself. Personal life was a little more chaotic than the professional side. After the unfortunate death of parents, I was the sole caretaker of my three younger sisters and a brother. Coming from a well educated family, I knew the value of education and was ready to do my best to impart best education for myself and the little ones. People told me I was going after an impossible aim but I was undeterred in my purpose. As I see my life then from today’s perspective, I feel how crazy I was. Without any clue about how life is, I jumped into the ocean and started to learn swimming while I was actually drowning. It was tough, very tough. But then, I also can see that, when there is no way, looking forward is the only way.
Before father’s death, he had told me one thing which stayed with me to guide me. “Do not trust anyone who tells you what you can do or cannot. They see things from their perspectives.”
Being very good in designing and copywriting, I started as a working partner with a company with no salary for several months in exchange of using their computer for doing my own work during non-working hours. For me, there was no difference between days and nights. Food and sleep didn’t matter either. The day I bought my own computer was like winning a war. I celebrated for days. Whatever our situation, I never allowed anyone to pity me or my siblings. We lived with great pride, dignity, happiness and continue to do the same even today. One of my sisters, Madhurima is my biggest strength in creating & executing the concept of WADE ASIA and WADE Sisters.
Around that time, I met another person who was quite like me – equally crazy and full of dreams. He was in a job but wanted to start a magazine that can share knowledge to organize the heavily unorganized plywood industry. He had no money and whoever he approached for this project, turned him away. The person is Mr Pragath Dvivedi, my partner at work and in life. I saw a good purpose behind his mission and we began the Startup. Ply Reporter magazine was born. Today, I feel good to see how startups are respected, in fact, celebrated. To us, people used to warn, “You people can easily get good jobs. Why are you wasting your time in this? One day you will realize and that time it will be too late.”
Our time began!
There was no looking back since then. We were doing what we loved. Even today, we are doing what we love, to add value to others’ businesses and to contribute in knowledge and connections. From my boutique design agency to Ply Reporter, we started SURFACES REPORTER which had sown the seed for WADE ASIA to India Interior Retailing to MATECIA EXHIBITION.
ES. In what ways you have made your show stand out from the crowd. What were the highlights of your show held recently at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi?
Vertica Dvivedi. MATECIA EXHIBITION is for building products and interior, architecture industry. Since 2017, MATECIA has grown from 9000 to 250000+ sqft. We are delighted with the massive footfall from all over India and 16 other countries. This was our first exhibition at Pragati Maidan. What is more encouraging is to get rebooking requests from more than 80% exhibitors. We are truly humbled by this experience. For 2022 edition, we did nothing special or different. It was an extension of what we already do in our daily business. I would definitely give credit to the two decades of work done by the magazines Surfaces Reporter and Ply Reporter.
The highlights of MATECIA EXHIBITION were:
Surfaces Reporter’s product innovation zone where the magazine showcases best of the best from its one year of research
Architecture Awards – WADE ASIA is world’s largest platform for women in design. In its 7th year, designers flocked from across the country to celebrate this.
Design Conference – Known for great content, designers aspire to be part of SR and WADE conference
Retailer’s Conference – Mr Pragath Dvivedi leads the Ply Reporter’s Retailing conference and knowledge sessions
Architects came from Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Mumbai to run material workshops at MATECIA EXHIBITION
Visitors from 16 countries and almost all corners of India visited MATECIA EXHIBITION. One of the key highlight was to question and change the perception of a National Large Scale Exhibition in Delhi for Building Products industry.
ES. How do you see the resumption of trade shows restoring people’s confidence? Could you tell us about the current state of trade shows in India?
Vertica Dvivedi. Trade shows are back with a bang. If we look at pre and post covid scenario, I can see that the shows are receiving more serious visitors and the use of technology is growing at a fast pace. If we look at India, I can see that we are getting ready to host the world and the world of opportunities. However, the infrastructure, seamless execution, resources and mindset for flawless services, needs a lot of work and attention and here’s where we as an industry need to focus.
ES. The exhibitions and events industry, like the rest of the world, has seen a lot of change in a short period of time. What are the most significant changes you’ve witnessed during your time in the industry?
Vertica Dvivedi. Use of technology
Insurmountable rise of Social Media
The growth of niche shows
ES. What is your leadership style? What according to you are your strong points?
Vertica Dvivedi. My leadership style is to be at the forefront and to lead by action. The ability to take risks and being tickled by challenges are some of my strong suits.
ES. How do you manage your professional and personal life? How do you cope with multi-tasking and stressful situations? We would like to know, what keeps you busy when you are away from work?
Vertica Dvivedi. As most of my fellow organizers would agree that, there is hardly any set boundary between professional and personal life. We have to create and recreate the line time and again. I am known to be a heavy duty multi-tasker but I would like to share my mind here. Multi-tasking is a big myth. We all can do only one thing at a time. It is the ability to shuffle between them that makes one stand apart from another. My life and situations have grinded me enough to shuffle seamlessly between tasks. It is as simple as changing gears as per the road and speed. When I am not at work, you will find Vertica Dvivedi doing either of these activities: Singing, Photography or Guitar.
ES. What would you say to the industry if you had one message and one piece of advice to give?
Vertica Dvivedi. I am no one to advice them. I would say, I am eager to meet you all and to learn from each one of you.