Category: Media

Not so picture perfect: Getting candid about those exotic foreign shaadis

Source: Times of India

If there is anything that tops a big fat Indian wedding in India, it’s a slimmer but infinitely more glamorous foreign destination wedding. Think dreamy nuptials in an Italian wine resort or on the idyllic beaches of Bali or the Turkish Riviera. Guests clad in carefully colour-coordinated attire in aisles blooming with flowers holding flutes of sparkling champagne. A Sabyasachi bride flitting around a picturesque mandap. But this pastel-tinted dreaminess can be marred not just by logistical problems but by a disgruntled aunt who has been forced to wear “inauspicious” off-white by “an event management girl” or a jetlagged uncle surly with tiny “vilayati” portions on his plate or the groom’s parents who think the Thai destination doesn’t exactly have the royal look they wanted.

Even before Prime Minister Modi advised us to shun offshore destination weddings last week and become more “vocal for local,” there were some who were waking up to the flipside of a “vacation wedding”. For starters, invitees have to factor in the added costs and headaches of arranging flights and visas. Then there are sundry relatives cribbing about being left out of the ‘intimate’ guest list. Make-up artists worry about work permits, and hassled planners make do with reduced staff.

But still the pursuit of “exotic” and “exclusive” continues, spurred on by the viral images of celebrity weddings like Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli or #Virushka and Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone. New hotspots — from Oman and Jordan to Masai Mara in Kenya — have emerged, besides old favourites like Thailand and Turkey. “I have had clients who say they want a beach wedding in Tulum, Mexico without once thinking of logistics,” says Ekta Saigal Lulla, founder of ESL Events which has organised several destination weddings in Europe and the UAE. And logistics for Indian weddings are no easy task. Lulla goes armed with a retinue of maharajes and halwais (cooks) to cater to the very specific dietary needs of her Indian guests. “Majority of the Indians who spend on international destination weddings are vegetarians. Not all hotels abroad can match their palate. And Indians from India are more pampered than NRIs. They have more housekeeping and laundry demands. They don’t get up once they sit down to eat. Food has to be served on their tables. International markets are not suited for such services,” she says.

Parthip Thyagarajan, co-founder and CEO of, says the Indian wedding traveller is a “different animal” altogether. “Everyone prefers a direct flight. And upon landing, they don’t like drives which are more than three hours to the hotel. So, for example, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, even with a nice resort, hasn’t taken off but Hua Hin in Thailand is very popular for Indian weddings because it is just three hours from Bangkok,” he says. Families may make as many as six recces ahead of a wedding for food tastings just to get it right. Thyagrajan says not all hotels are equipped to handle the entire paraphernalia that comes with a demanding desi shaadi guest. “Hotels with a dynamic general manager who understands this kind of a traveller and has the patience to negotiate with families do well,” he says.

Arjun Chandra, a 30-something design and branding consultant in Delhi who recently attended a wedding in Thailand, was surprised by how desi the menu was. “The food was entirely Indian! Why won’t you have one counter for Thai food? I have flown all the way to attend your wedding and I can’t even sample the local food?”

If cuisine crankiness is a challenge that organisers have learnt to overcome, there are also those who want to recreate traditional Indian settings in a foreign locale. It is a demand that Ashima Arora, co-founder of Aroosi Events, a wedding design company, is familiar with. “In places like Vietnam, they are not accustomed to renting out furniture or quickly fashioning elaborate structures from thermocol, metal or mesh,” Arora says, who sent technical drawings to create Indian wedding furniture to local craftsmen in Vietnam for a recent wedding she organised. Veteran wedding planner Meher Sarid feels there is no point to a desi theme in such a setting. “We are not doing a destination wedding to erect massive structures in a new country. We are doing a destination because we want to take in the local ambience and culture. Why increase costs by creating huge tents with an Indian ambience when you’ve come abroad?”

And did the nuptials really happen till you have managed to capture every candid and posed moment for posterity? Gurugram-based Karan Sidhu, an award-winning wedding photographer, has seen Indian wedding guests, especially the elderly, struggle because events are spread across venues which means an endless wait for shuttle buses because taxis are too expensive. There is even the problem of theft. “I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not but in so many destination weddings, I have heard of jewellery being stolen from inside lockers in hotels,” says Sidhu.

Some things are impossible to be fully prepared for — even with all the planning. A wedding guest from Bengaluru had a memorable experience in Antalya in Turkey at a friend’s wedding. “So many guests would just take off to explore the city, missing out on functions. Many created random scenes after getting drunk. Someone drove the hotel cart himself and banged it into a pole!” he exclaims.

There’s also little room for the fashionably late which is par for the course in Indian weddings. Shrey Bhagat, founder and creative director of Raabta photography in Mumbai, says hotels in places like New York and Florence often follow strict timelines and one cannot prolong baraat and pheras with a pandit on Indian Standard Time. Little wonder families are learning to make more practical choices. “This year, I have seen several of my clients choosing to do the actual wedding in India, but the pre and post-function parties are being done in places like Egypt and Maldives,” adds Bhagat.

On the festival route

nI have been to the Goa Carnival but as a child. Naturally, I don?t remember too much about it except for the crowds. The gaudy clothes, the masks and the music was all very heady and interesting. I plan to go back sometime and see the carnival as it is today.

JAYABRATO CHATTERJEE, author and filmmaker

nI?d gone to shoot in Ajmer where the Pushkar mela is held and my memories of that experience are still vivid. I?m not a very religious person but what was very moving was the faith of so many people, old, young, even disabled, who?d congregated from across the country. This apart, I found the cattle fair extremely colourful and beautiful.

meher sarid, wedding planner

nI went to the Kumbh Mela about eight years ago with a few friends who were foreigners. They were fascinated with the picture that Kumbh presented, especially the Naga sadhus with their huge tilaks. The Pushkar Mela, which I visited about seven years ago, was filled with colours, fun and frolic. I loved the camel-selling and the flea market.

“Maintaining stability is my key focus” – Meher Sarid, Group President, Oxigen Services.

In this quick five Q&A with People Matters, she shared her key focus areas for the company, what keeps her awake and why Oxigen opted out from the wallet arena.

Meher Sarid began her career as a banquet sales, public relations and communications personnel at the ITC Maurya Sheraton New Delhi, in the year 1991. She has now carved a niche in her with Human resources being her core area. Currently, she is the Group President at Oxigen Services. In the last twelve years at Oxigen, Sarid has looked after various vertices in the organization- corporate affairs, marketing, retail communications, human resources, and talent development. But the creative segment is the one she is most passionate about.

She mentioned that in all the divisions’ people are the most significant part and they drive the business. In an interaction with People Matters, she shared her journey with Oxigen, overcoming core challenges faced by the company and how the brand is launching different services.

On her journey

Sarid says that most of her earnings have come from her experience in the hospitality industry, in which she started her career.  She reiterates her point saying, “I come from a hospitality background and everyone in the uniform is disciplined. Public relations, human resources, marketing is an entire gambit of work.”

She does not hoId an MBA degree in Human Resources from any fancy institute, but her first hand work experience while on the path has Ied her to succeed. “My exposure to public relations and marketing has helped me in managing people, but out of all the portfolios I‘ve handed, I love my creative piece the most and I am good at it.”

Being a small company, people resources are most important according to Sarid and she finds the right people to connect with in all her portfolios she manages.

It was her idea to get Sachin Tendulkar on board as the brand ambassador because he was the only one who suits the value of Oxigen. “He has an unblemished career without any controversies and which defines us, our core vaIues,” she said.

On Major Challenges

Oxigen has a fragmented kind of human resource allocation across the country. On the one hand, it’s a sales-driven company while on the other hand technology drives them. The entire business works on technology, but their sales force is out at retail shops across the country to get new customers on board.

“Oxigen is a mostly rural focus, and to reach out to rural India is a challenge as to keep these fragmented resources intact that are living in villages and tier IV or V cities. It’s an HR challenge to make them feel the same kind of culture, to make them draw into the same thread, and also to make sure that we speak the same language and represent the brand in the way we act at the local level.”

The second major challenge for the company is to retain these people and avoid a churn. Sales jobs have a major churn and their shelf Life at a junior level is 1.5 years to 3 years. The majority of their sales force keeps churning every one year and two years, therefore retaining them, and maintaining the attrition rate in the sales team is a challenge for the HR department.

She said, “People at junior levels and rural areas tend to jump off for the lower margin of raise.” According to her, an HR has done the job well if the employees stay for more than three years.  

Reaching out to the sales force and making sure that they are connected and organizing interaction programs for them on a regular basis is a costly and lengthy affair. “If your pockets are really deep you can organize a monthly sales meet in every region. But we are only able to collect our sales team twice a year dividing the country into two regions,” said Sarid.

On engaging workforce 

The company is trying innovative means of connecting with people. Till last year, it was hiring a workforce at a local level and keeping them at that. But now it has changed its strategy, “We felt it’s not working and decided to bring the salesperson in the head office to teach them about the functionality of the company, our vision, mission, and future plans,” said Sarid.

It is now experiencing a positive change in the workforce post this program and expecting a good retaining ratio once the results are put next year.

Oxigen’s offering in ‘Corporate Expense Management’

The company started its wallet journey in 2007 as a B2B player and later on entered into the B2C segment.

Post demonetization, the brand decided to stay out of the wallet business because they believed that government would not let the payment business lie in the hand of private operators.

Oxigen came up with an idea to link the card to the wallet. Sarid feels that it’s a fresh idea because others have prepaid cards and it can be used independently and also with the wallet. The brand calls it Oxigen’s ‘Expense Management System.’

This card is designed to ease the problems of the HR department. It’ll help the company struggling with tax benefits, making payments like travel advances, and travel reimbursements, especially for blue-collar workers. “It’s difficult to pay these workers in cash because the government is pushing for digital and an HR personnel has a hard time collecting vouchers and going through the lengthy process of collection and uploading, “said Sarid.

Oxigen has got at least thirty companies on board and some companies are doing a daily disbursement of Rs 20 lakhs and smaller companies are doing up to 3 lakhs. Oxigen will get a certain amount in return every time the card gets transacted.

On Key Focus Areas

The HR veteran believes in taking one step at a time and her core focus area for the next year is to maintain stability. She concluded by saying, “My core focus is on the stability within the organization and the business.”

Future of banking lies in digital wallets and online payments

Ever since its inception, the concept of currency has undergone several evolutions over the ages. From barters to coins to paper currency to credit/debit cards to present day digital payments solutions, every evolution has indubitably made a far-reaching impact on the process of transactions and commerce and has made it more convenient than before.

A cursory look at the change presents a curious question- where lies the future of the currency?With several innovative payments solutions such as bitcoins and mobile wallets currently in vogue, one cannot help but wonder what these technological advances will mean for the future of currency. Would we see an end to the paper currency, thereby ending the perpetual drama of tendering the exact change when paying for a service?

As someone who has long been associated with the financial sector, my answer would be yes. With the evolution of digital wallets, that transformation has started and talking specifically about India, the urban population has already embraced the ubiquitous accessibility and convenience of cashless payments in its everyday transactional behaviour. Everything — from transportation to dining to ordering groceries — can now be done through one-click payments. On the other hand, efforts are being made to extend the benefits of a digital economy to the rural population, a large segment of which is still unbanked. Government’s push towards Aadhaar enrollment is one step towards bringing entire population of India on a single digital platform, thesubsequent program of Jan DhanYojna is to connect maximum possible population to banking system and the most recent initiative of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is to enable all bank account holders to make payments digitally. UPI’s simplistic connect with money transfers instantly using alias at any time using a smartphone in a seamless interoperable payment environment makes it unique.Thoughmajority of retail transactions is estimated at 78% in cash, these changes indicate towards a more inclusive society in future.

As digital money gains acceptance Bank branches will play a lesser role in delivering banking. The pace at which digital innovations are taking place, the rural economy will move to adopt the seamless connectivity of digital payments solutions and forego its dependency on cash-based transactions.

Apart from the technology accessibility and adaptability, another factor for the rural population to adopt the banking relatively slow is the psychological barrier. There is lack of trust for the prevailing banking system however the spur of entrepreneurship has presented options in the form of non-banking digital wallet players. These players are bridging the trust deficit by imparting requisite skillset in the local youth and equipping them to do digital transactions in their respective areas.

All this might make you wonder if these innovations represent the epitome of evolution for the payments technology. Darwin would have said no, and so do I. There are still so many avenues that are yet to be explored in the field of payments to make them more integrated into everyday life. I personally envision a situation where there will be a direct and seamless integration between human beings and payments. Your bank accounts, reward points, bitcoins, mobile wallets will all be linked to your biometric signature. All you need to do to process a transaction is pressing your finger against a scanner on your phone or vendor’s POS. Makes it so convenient!!

Telephone took 110 years to reach 1 billion users, TV took 49 years, Mobile phone took 22 years, Internet took 14 years, and Smartphone took 8 years to reach the 1 billion user mark. With every new technology reaching 1 billion users takes half as long as the previous one, so we might not even have to wait till 2030 to feel the power of digital transactions/solutions.

“Pursue excellence in every vertical of the workplace”: Meher Sarid, President – Corporate Affairs, Oxigen Services

President of Corporate Affairs, heads Communications, Marketing, HR and Brand at Oxigen Services, Meher Sarid established herself as a successful and well known Entrepreneur.

Having creatively achieved and mastering the Events and Hospitality space- Meher’s creative thirst and a desire to do something new in a potentially dynamic space, led her to Oxigen. Meher brings with her 23 years of rich experience in Management, Brand, Design, Communication and Service Excellence.

Principle in life

As a perfectionist, I am driven to “Doing it right the first time, even when no one is watching” and strive to instill the same ideology in my colleagues and associates.

How did a field related to IT fascinate you? How many women colleagues do you meet in this IT-related work environment?

Joining Oxigen Services proved as a crucial turning point. I had already tasted success as an entrepreneur in the field of Interior Designing, Events, Entertainment and Wedding Management.   I became India’s first wedding planner, in an industry that was scattered. As an economy, we were then poised towards  a digital revolution and joining Oxigen felt more like a natural transition to do new things in a new space.

As to the other part, perhaps it would have held more meaning when I started my professional journey. But now, women are making their presence felt in all verticals of the industry and IT is no different. Driven with their focus and go-getter attitude, women can be seen leading from the front in various IT verticals.

Strategy for work, Do you have men working under you?

The strategy is certainly directly proportionate to the nature of work. I am well organized and process oriented. Having said that, I identify the strengths of each individual irrespective of them being male or female and delegating accordingly. This is what the real strategy is. Like I said before, the ability to utilize your skill sets, your initiative taking drive and being able to deliver results at the right time holds more merit today than the gender. Yes, I have a 50%.50% work force working under me.

Your role vis-a-vis them while developing strategies

Everyone respects the values each individual brings to the team in an organization and hence teams are focused at improving their own contributions. Communicating the same with the right intent is perhaps the key in influencing team mates and getting the work done, regardless of their gender. Owing to the leadership position that I have at Oxigen, it is my responsibility to deliver to our Brand promise, I intervene only if required and like to regulate the organization’s culture, ensuring our brand values are of utmost priority . mentoring the young to become future leaders, is my passion and I have succeeded in that count.

The challenges of being a woman executive in a top role

Just about the same challenges a man would also face at work places. Honestly, I have only strived to raise performance levels to meet results that are expected out of me and that till date continues to remain my driving force in life.

Motto for success at workplace

There is only one motto for success I follow, which is to pursue excellence in every vertical of the workplace. Success is limited in its scope and can get easily manipulated. However, when you pursue excellence, the experience is so profound and enriching, helping you grow as a person and maintaining the highest standards at all times, be it in service or product or quality.


At Oxigen,  I have been instrumental in the launch of Bugzy VAS-2006, Launch of Oxigen Wallet- 2007 and its business management, PR for JV with Microsoft –FY-2007/8, Oxigen TVC -2008, Online Business portfolio development- 2007-12, Creation of Training & Development Department- 2010, Creation of Quality & Service Excellence Sept 2010, making the Oxigen Corporate Film- Jan 2011, Call centre & resolution delivery streamlining – 2012, ISO certification –Dec 2012, Feet On Street program management – Nov 2012, HR management –Dec 2012. Launching Oxigen wallet in 2014, getting Sachin Tendulkar on board as the brand ambassador for Oxigen- 2015, Sponsoring Cricket South Africa team for World Cup and iSL Kerala Blasters 2015, Sponsoring IPL team Gujarat Lions and The New Zealand Cricket team 2016, making TV commercials for Oxigen Campaigns.

I was also awarded the Pride Of India Gold medal, by the President Of Mauritius, H.E Sir Aneroodh Jauganauth &The felicitation was done on the Bhartiya Pravasi Divas, 10th of Dec, 2009.

I also received a Felicitation from the Government of India for organising the wedding industry by Sheila Dixit, for my contributions to the Wedding Industry in India and abroad in March 2010

Family Background

 I come from a Defense background, my father Major General Khurshed S Bharucha, served the Indian Army from 1962 to 1996. As a result, we travelled the country and experienced many varied cultures, architecture, and habitat across the country. While my father was handling national affairs, my mother, Bakhtawar. K. Bharucha looked into the Army Wives Welfare groups that helped the Jawans wives learn skills, both social and occupational. She conducted many stage shows, organized many social events, fund raisers, cultural nights, where I had by default become her helping hand and runner, I used to assist decorate the stage, help with props, flower arrangements and this is where my creative and organizational skills were borne


Your Fitness Mantra: No, am the creative types, love painting or writing prose or poetry instead

Your De-stressing Mantra: Painting, watching movies and reading

Where you like to shop? – In Dubai

Your favorite holiday destination: Domestic “Goa”, International “Mauritius”

5 things you cannot live without: Eggs for breakfast, my Kazillian cups of tea, my mobile phone, laughter and Excitement

Wake up at:
 7:30 am

Morning activities: catching up with my stuff at Whatsapp, Twitter & LinkedIn

Leaving Office at: 7:30 pm

Ist half in office: High energy interactions that result in decision making  or task delegation

Post Lunch:  Meetings and brain storming

How you spend your evenings: catch up with my husband and kids have a family meet at dinner, read or paint or visit friends

Sleep time: midnight

The rise of the wedding planner

New Delhi: In the original land of the big fat unending wedding, it seemed like a no-brainer. Yet, it’s hard to imagine that up until 25 years ago there were no such things as wedding planners in India.

There was the family astrologer to match the horoscopes; an entire team of cooks who would pitch tent for days of feasting; the neighbourhood aunties to do the decorations—but no wedding planners.

There was no place for an outsider to parachute in and plan your wedding.

Meher Sarid wanted to change all that.

“Weddings were very different then. People used to love to do these things — they didn’t think it was a headache. People had time. Not a lot of women were working so people were at home,” says Sarid, 45, one of India’s first wedding planners.

Today, the industry generates business worth nearly $40 billion a year and is growing at nearly 20% a year. According to a Mint article in December 2015, India is just behind the US wedding market at $50 billion and likely to overtake it soon.

Born in Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Sarid came to the business with a degree in hotel management. At the end of her degree, she joined ITC Sheraton hotel, Delhi in 1989, where she managed banquets. By this time, she already knew she wanted to do weddings. While working in Sheraton, Sarid would flip through international magazines in the hotel’s book lounge. “I used to see these magazines and get excited that there is so much design out there and why can’t this design come here, why are we so stuck?”

Sarid’s first wedding was a bit of a challenge because everyone involved in this unorganized “shaadi-business” was so comfortable with what they were already doing. “All I would see is a standard phool wala, who would put some phool ki ladi (strings of flowers).

“So I asked ‘why aren’t we doing cut flowers, more Japanese style’. The florist was scratching his head, everyone was saying ‘what the hell is going on here’,” she recollects. She didn’t do much in that wedding, she says. She just took cane baskets with flowers, painted them white and hung them down from the ceiling.

That was 1992, a year after liberalization. The choices were growing for Indians, and Sarid wanted to know what was happening in the world of weddings. “Since there was no Internet, the only way to do was to go out there physically — to travel,” she says.

But travelling abroad wasn’t easy. Air tickets were expensive. Sarid’s father was in the army, and travelling abroad wasn’t something he could afford.

So in December 1992, Sarid quit her job and joined Cathay Pacific Airways as an airline crew. This meant travel—lots of it and for free. In the meantime she had joined a distance learning course in wedding management taught from Salzburg, Austria.

Back home, she had already set up her company in 1992. Her first cheque in the 1990s was somewhere around  1.5 lakh, which was “huge”, she says.

Still, it was mostly the wealthy, influential, high-profile people who sought her services. That started changing around early 2000 with the arrival of the new rich.

“Public farmhouses started coming up, common garden areas in communities became available for weddings, community centres opened up and even the middle classes started looking for planners.”

Sarid has created a Paris in a farmhouse, flown in a BMW sports car, and had choppers land for a girl’s 18th birthday.

“Someone who had sold a large piece of land to a builder became the new rich,” says Sarid.

“And what the new rich would do would filter down.

“Most of the new rich had not really travelled. For them, the theme would be red-and-white. For the old money, it would be, let’s say, the Garden of Eden.”

This is the 28th part in a series marking the 25th anniversary of India’s liberalization.

Oxigen Wallet Announces Its First Tea 20 In Kolkata

Taking consumer engagement to another level, Oxigen Wallet is all set to delight 20 lucky users from India’s eastern part on October 7 with its first Tea 20 in Kolkata. Selected as a part of Oxigen’s ‘Play the Host’ campaign, these lucky winners will get a chance to attend net practice sessions of the South African T20 cricket team with tea and interaction planned with the players. One lucky family will even get a chance to take the spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ even further, playing host to select South African cricketers at its home. Four other such events have been scheduled across the country for other winning users from the campaign.

Oxigen Wallet’s innovative ‘Play the Host’ marketing campaign has seen tremendous response from the cricket-crazy Indian population. The 20 day activation campaign involving the Protean T20 team saw huge registrations on Oxigen Wallet, taking the total number of users registered with the leading wallet payment service to cross the 10 million mark.

In today’s Tea 20 event, winners will get to meet JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien and Khaya Zondo and at each location of the upcoming events of “Play the Host” campaign, winners will get to meet different sets of T20 players.

Speaking on the announcement, Ankur Saxena, CEO, Oxigen Wallet, commented, “Indians have always taken their cricket and their hospitality very seriously. Our innovative ‘Play the Host’ campaign has allowed our services to be adopted by more consumers dynamically within a very short span of time. At the same time, it gives our users an unparalleled opportunity to meet and interact with their cricketing heroes. With four more such events planned across the country, we are expecting even higher numbers of customer registrations onto Oxigen Wallet’s service platform.”

Meher Sarid, President, Corporate Affairs – Brand & Marketing, Oxigen Services, commented, “Oxigen’s marketing team strategized to take the core Indian hospitality value of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, across the nation, using a large variety of media and social channels. We have displayed personal facets of the T20 cricketers, which has caught the eye of fans. Doing something special with the fans, in terms of engagement to make it a life time memory was our motive, and we have successfully completed it by touching the lives of the winners.”

Over 75 percent of participants in Oxigen Wallet’s ‘Play the Host’ campaign were new users who had registered for the wallet services during the campaign period. The increased migration towards mobile adoption by Indian consumers was clearly visible during the registration phase with more than 90 percent of users choosing to register through the Wallet’s app.

Oxigen Wallet is powered by Oxigen Services Pvt Ltd, India’s largest payment service provider and is available through the website ( The Oxigen Wallet app can also be downloaded from the Android Play store, iTunes or Windows App Store.

Sachin Tendulkar is Oxigen’s Brand ambassador

India’s Largest Payments Solutions Provider, Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd. has signed master – blaster – Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. Reflecting the core values of the company in his virtues of unshakable commitment and humility, Sachin is undoubtedly the perfect face for Oxigen.

Bringing the world’s greatest batsman on board, Oxigen signals a paradigm shift in creating a powerful drive for cashless transactions. Oxigen has aligned its vision to aggressively push for Digital India and financial inclusion, a key agenda on the radar of Indian Prime Minister. This theme could not have had a more befitting Brand Ambassador than Sachin Tendulkar himself.

Elaborating on the association, Pramod Saxena, Founder & CMD of Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd. commented, “We are absolutely proud and honored to be associated with the god of cricket himself who is renowned not only in India, but across the globe. It is not just his VALUES that inspired us to get him on board, but also his strong commitment towards larger national issues such as education and  upliftment of rural India that resonate with our own programs. Together we are set to take our initiatives towards Financial Inclusion, Digital India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to the next level.”

Forging this relationship, Sachin Tendulkar said “I am excited to be associated with Oxigen Services which is at the threshold of exponential growth. Oxigen’s effort to align with the needs of the common Indian and focus on offering convenience, flexibility and ease in payment solutions is admirable. With the Oxigen wallet providing so many features, I am sure it will be the preferred mode for payment emphatically replacing the present day need to carry physical forms of cash and plastic money.”

“Oxigen wallet has seen many firsts, the first to develop a wallet in the country way back in 2008, the first non-bank to connect with NPCI for instant money transfers, the first to launch a social media connect, the first to host a digital concert for its customers and the first to brand & play the host nation to an International Cricket Team from South Africa. We are proud to add one more first to our mobile wallet & that is a first by the way of endorsement, by not just a celebrity, but by the best India has seen, Sachin Tendulkar. We look forward to demonstrating the best and incomparable in true Sachin tradition for a long time to come”, added Ankur Saxena, CEO, Oxigen Wallet.

“The adoration/adulation for Sachin Tendulkar, as a person, cuts across demographics, states and cultures. He is a much loved & trusted sport personality, with an unblemished track record. We, at Oxigen as well, reach out to a large mass of people across the country, we have something for everyone, A mobile wallet for the youth and money transfer & payments services, through our retail network for all fellow Indians.  The city dwellers and rural Indians alike, see us as a dependable service provider. By associating with Sachin we are sure we reinforce the Trust & reliability factor with our customers, taking it to the zenith with his endorsement to the Oxigen Brand”, said Meher Sarid, President – Corporate Affairs – Brand & Marketing, Oxigen Services.

Oxigen recently became official sponsors of the Proteas – South African T20 Cricket Team who will be visiting India for The Mahatma Gandhi – Nelson Mandela Series this week. Oxigen Wallet is playing the perfect host to The Proteas – South African T20 Cricket Team with their #Playthehost campaign. Sachin’s presence would add a lot of warmth to this campaign inspired by the Indian code of conduct ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’.

Tendulkar bats for Oxigen wallet

Payments solutions provider Oxigen Services India on Friday said it had signed cricket star Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. The company is focusing its marketing efforts by using cricket as a mass reach tool. It is also sponsoring the South African Twenty-20 cricket team set to play in India in October.

The Master Blaster would create awareness about the product through traditional and new media in the first phase of marketing and in the second, he would be involved in on-ground activations and events in non-metro towns, cities and villages.

The duration of the association has not been revealed, but the company asserts it is a long-term deal.

Tendulkar said the service is at the threshold of exponential growth, becoming the preferred mode for payment emphatically replacing the need to carry physical forms of cash and plastic money.

“Apart from cricket, we are looking at entertainment for mass engagement and reach,” said Meher Sarid, president (corporate affairs).

Gautam Gambhir’s New Innings

On Saturday last week, we posted a picture of newly-weds cricketer Gautam Gambhir and his bride Natasha Jain. Since then we received many emails enquiring if we’ll posting more pictures. So here are some more photographs of the charming couple and the wedding, courtesy Wedding Planner Meher Sarid who managed the grand yet intimate affair at a farm house in West End Greens, on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway.

Natasha’s wow lehenga & Gautam’s wedding sherwani were designed by Tarun Tahiliani. The creations for the other family members were designed by Kolkata’s Sabyasachi and Delhi duo Shantanu & Nikhil.

The groom Gautam was escorted by a league of Safa clad bearers carrying Zardozi umbrellas, and he entered the venue on special drum beat music put together by DJ Sunny Sarid. The bride entered the venue under a canopied veil, carried by safa clad bearers and she was accompanied by her brother and sisters, and close friends in a royal procession with special bell chimes music put together by DJ Sunny Sarid.

Roberto Cavalli theme inspired design at the Cocktails

The event and entertainment planning was done by Sound of Music- Meher Sarid, Parvez Akhtar and Sunny Sarid. The elaborate elegant decor was designed and implemented by Meher Sarid and her team members Rhea Malvai, Neha Gupta and Supriyaa Choudhary. The decor was based on a Floral theme and a Fleur-de-lis sequenced motif. All the flowers were imported from London, Thailand & family members were designed by Kolkata’s Sabyasachi and Delhi duo Shantanu & Nikhil.

The Lounge

The Tent

The dinner spread included Indian, Thai and Continental delicacies specially put together by Meher Sarid and each table had a menu card for personalized service. The celebrities present included Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh with his parents, Rahul Dravid, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, VVS Laxman, Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta, Rajiv Shukla and Arun Jaitley.

At the after-party DJ Sumit Sethi and DJ Sunny Sarid jammed for the guests and their families and friends.

The couple with cricketer Yuvraj Singh

With Juhi Chawla and her husband Jai Mehta

Behind the scenes

Caterers: Seasons and Nandi Caterers
Photographs: Badal Raja Jain
Fireworks: Israar
Doli: Puneet Sohan Lal
Flower Imports: Amrish
Tenting Support & Theme Implementation: Rama Tent House