The UK is in danger of losing its pride position as a leader in world-class events, with the Indian wedding industry being particularly hard hit with Covid-19 lockdown.
According to estimates, Indians make up 2.3 per cent of the UK population but account for almost 25 per cent of the staggering £12-billion wedding industry.
Harvir Sahota, Managing Director of Mahirs Experience, has been sowing the seeds with others in the Indian/Asian wedding industry to ignite and lobby for the industry to have an equal footing as it approaches a period of no further government financial support and low revenue post October 2020.
His ideas are based around giving a platform and a unified voice for all wedding industry suppliers. Other lobbying groups, such as Plasa, recently lit up major outdoor venues nationwide raising awareness and calling on the government to rethink their approach with the events industry before adding to the country's number of unemployed.
Harvir recognises and appreciates that this doesn't just affect the global Indian caterers, but the whole supply chain for the Indian/Asian wedding industry - from suppliers or marquees, to toastmasters to suppliers of wedding jewellery.
Ajay Chouhan, an industry stalwart, said: “We all got involved in the the Asian wedding industry as we knew it was recession proof and there is no better place to trade, from the amount of fun and excitement to be had to the level of business opportunities the industry gives. But what we have been faced with is unprecedented.”
Others such as Ian Few of Fews Marquees is keen for the Asian wedding industry to collaborate with other organisations, such as the Association of British Wedding Businesses, who also have the agenda to represent the industry and improve practices in this crisis period and beyond.
From October and until a vaccine is found, the industry will not have the cushion that some of the government's schemes have provided. Harvir and likeminded individuals from the industry are strategising on a campaign and protest so that the new norm economy during and post Covid-19 includes the voice of the wedding industry.
“Wedding and other events in our lives as Indians are cornerstone of our wellbeing. We collectively need to do something now with a framework that has public safety at its heart, with clear coordination to pull all suppliers through this dreadful time so that we can run safe and enjoyable weddings,” he said.
The team are basing their ideas around the Indian Independence movement and how when people are trusted and given freedom (such as enjoying pubs and clubs) they will innovate, be responsible and deliver to high standards.
“We strive to build systems and structures to keep this important part of the economy going. We don't want to simply add to the economic collapse where my industry will face depression, both mentally and economically.”
Raaj Shamji a.k.a. Roving Raaj is a West Midlands, UK, based media personality and a Roving Reporter for iGlobal.