Indian nightlife gets its due at INCA 2021

At its fifth edition, the Indian Nightlife Convention & Awards 2021, saw panel discussions on industry strategies for the path to recovery as well as celebrations of the achievements of HoReCa heroes who led the way through trying times.

Across industries the world over, the buzzword is recovery. Although social interaction is still not entirely unrestricted, with new measures and initiatives in place, business is gradually picking up. In India, perhaps the biggest indicator of recovery is resumption of on-ground events. The latest edition of the Indian Nightlife Convention & Awards (INCA) was held on March 13 in the sunshine state of Goa. This was the first time the event, a forum for thought leaders in the nightlife industry to discover new tech, trends and strategies, was held in Goa. The INCA is an initiative by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and a property of Kickstart Entertainment, a boutique events organisation.

Panel discussion
Industry leaders contributed to panel discussions which focused on how the industry dealt with the pandemic, the lessons learnt from it and, of course, the way forward.

Naturally, this year’s convention focused on the year that was: how the industry coped with the crisis and what invaluable lessons were learnt from it. A number of panel discussions covered topics such as partnerships between brands and industry, as well as the path ahead for the F&B industry. Leading voices from the industry such as Joy Singh, Priyank Sukhija, Zorawar Kalra, AD Singh, Riyaaz Amlani, Gauri Devidayal, Ashish Singh, Rahul Singh, Mariketty Grana and Ayesha Pramanik, among many others, contributed with their thoughts. Musician Udyan Sagar, better known as Nucleya, was also one of the star speakers, elaborating on his new role with Raasta, the bar chain.

The other highlight of this year’s INCA was the focus on the Sisterhood Soiree, a platform for women in the industry. This initiative aims to recognise and empower women in the industry, by bringing together leaders and aspirants, and eventually transform the sector through increased participation. A special screening celebrated the Sisterhood Soiree’s achievements across the last two years.

And, of course, in its usual format, the awards followed. While the red carpet saw eminent personalities such as Pooja Bedi, Malini Agarwal, Parul Kakad, DJ Starling, Divine, Oscar de Lima and Manasi Scott, the ceremony, this year, celebrated the heroes who made a difference through the crisis brought on by the pandemic. These stalwarts came up with unique initiatives to not just continue business but also to support the communities in which they operate.

Some of the notable achievers included the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) for their Feed The Needy initiative, United Breweries Limited for their Back To The Bars initiative, Diageo for their Raising The Bar initiative and Pepsico India for their Save Our Restaurants initiative. Personalities such as Carlton Braganza, Manasi Scott and DJ Ivan were felicitated under the Lockdown’s Leading Lights category while Suved Lohia and Pragya Kapoor were felicitated for their Ek Saath – The Earth Foundation. Among the other personalities honoured for their contributions were AD Singh of Olive Group of Restaurants, AB Kohli from Pritam Hotels and Zorawar Kalra of Massive Restaurants.

The road ahead to recovery might not be the easiest to traverse but events such as these certainly put into perspective the importance of collaboration along with facilitating them, and instils confidence in the industry through recognition.

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