Partner Content By KT Engage
This homegrown events marketplace 'JOVIO' is set to revolutionise the personalised events industry
Pioneering personalised events: A conversation with JOVIO's co-founder and CEO, Rahul Singh
Undoubtedly, the events sector underwent profound shifts in the wake of the pandemic. However, it was followed by a notable trajectory of growth and substantial potential. A recent study by Research and Markets revealed that the events industry in the Middle East and Africa is projected to expand from $53.63 billion in 2022 to $76.67 billion by 2028.
JOVIO, a homegrown marketplace app, is set to launch in the UAE this October with a mission to revolutionise the industry. With a keen eye on seizing business prospects across the Middle East and Africa region, JOVIO's entrance hints at a transformative journey in the realm of personalised events.
During our one-on-one interview with Rahul, we delve into the story behind JOVIO.
What is the story behind JOVIO, and how did the concept of creating an events marketplace app originate?
In December 2022, as I was organising an event, I encountered the challenges of connecting with vendors and event suppliers. The task of identifying the right ones and comparing their offerings and costs was a tedious and impractical task. Plus, getting all requirements from a single vendor was also difficult, further complicating the user experience.
I swiftly recognised the urgent need for a solution, which I presented to Amit Godiyal and Rupish Baboo, who shared the vision and saw the concept's potential. Together, leveraging our collective experience in reputable tech companies, we decided to embark on this journey and conduct a comprehensive market survey aimed at pinpointing the precise use case that would eventually lay the foundation for the birth of JOVIO.
What will JOVIO solve, and how will it work?
We want to fix a problem I, and many others, faced - spending a lot of time looking for suppliers and then feeling limited by their options. Our initial phase of the launch will focus on personalised events, while corporate events are on our radar for later exploration.
Our mission began with a simple yet powerful idea - crafting an app that aggregates a myriad of event services under one roof. This negates the need for customers to dedicate extensive hours to the pursuit of suitable suppliers for their events and allows users to mix and match and tailor events to their preferences, as well as set reminders of special occasions.
Our commitment to our customers is underscored by the promise of accessibility, affordability, diversity, and exceptional quality. In parallel, our partners will benefit from a platform where they can display their offerings and engage directly with their client base through our innovative app, thereby streamlining the entire process for all stakeholders involved.
Why did you choose this sector in particular, and what is your vision for the company?
As digital platforms gain prominence and the events industry flourishes, we spotted a golden opportunity to enter this thriving market by offering a solution that brings together event providers and customers in a single platform.
Our unwavering mission is to ensure that celebrations are inclusive and accessible for all, regardless of their budgets. We want our customers to personalise their occasions and special moments the way they envision, by breaking conventional constraints of event planning.
We're particularly proud to start our journey from the UAE, a country that has well positioned itself as a global hub in digital technology, offering the right infrastructure for companies to introduce innovative solutions across all industries.
Do you plan to expand beyond the UAE?
Yes, expanding is certainly part of our long-term plan. The events market is worth trillions globally, and our technology-focused approach, coupled with our asset-light strategy, enables us to outpace competitors in terms of scaling.
We have recently officially launched our operations in the UAE, and the JOVIO has received an incredible response since its soft launch a few weeks ago. Currently, we're conducting offline events to ensure that our platform is built with a deep understanding of the local ecosystem.
We are highly optimistic about our progress. Starting from October, the app will be fully operational in the UAE, featuring listings for yachts, venues, catering, photography, DJs, and more. In the meantime, customers can still reach out to us via Instagram to get their events booked.
In the short term, our primary focus will be on the GCC region, namely in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where we plan to make our debut next year, followed by further expansion.
Do you foresee any challenges? How do you plan to overcome them?
Absolutely, it's a given that every business encounters hurdles and challenges, particularly in the initial stages. However, these challenges are instrumental in our learning and the continuous enhancement of our platform. I view this as a journey rather than a destination.
I think over the last 10-15 years tech giants have changed user behaviour so if we have a better value proposition than the people in the market in the same industry, we will have to work on helping both vendors and customers connect in a better way.
In your opinion, what sets JOVIO apart from other players in the market? What is the unique value you offer to your partners?
What distinguishes JOVIO is its unique approach of not imposing any signup or monthly subscription fees on vendors. The process is straightforward: vendors can register on the platform through the website, undergo documentation verification, and then seamlessly join the platform to showcase their offerings.
We're also at the forefront of integrating AI and embracing the metaverse as integral components of JOVIO's strategy. This entails incorporating innovative features such as guest tracking, guest reviews and ratings, and exploring the potential integration of virtual and augmented reality elements to elevate the event experience.
Currently, we are operating on a bootstrapped model. However, we are actively seeking external funding from partners who share our vision and are aligned with our mission to accelerate our growth and expansion.
Before we end the interview, what does JOVIO mean and why did you choose this name?
JOVIO was derived from the word 'Jovial', which encapsulates qualities of cheerfulness and friendliness. These very attributes are what we aspire to infuse into every home and every occasion through our platform, in the Middle East and beyond.