What happens when ingenuity meets innovation? The answer to this was showcased at every nook and corner of Pearl Portfolio 2022. Here, students from Pearl Academy’s School of Fashion, School of Design, School of Contemporary Media, and the D School of Business, demonstrated their imagination through extraordinary projects and performances. This annual gala was graced by industry veterans, thought leaders, and government influencers who gave insights into buzzing topics like the future of fashion, metaverse, NFT, and content creation.
Two of the most crucial pillars behind the success of this event were our in-house student teams – the Plan Clan and the Digital Ninjas.
We had a chat with Karan Handa, Head of Videography and Vanshika Agarwal, Co-Head of Content Department from Digital Ninjas and Simone, the President and Vashu Agarwal, the Vice President and Cultural Secretary from Plan Clan. Let’s get to know how they were able to make the impossible possible!
Q. 1 What is Plan Clan (PC) and Digital Ninjas (DN)?
Vanshika (DN): Digital Ninjas is a group of super active, tech-savvy students who operate as an extension of the marketing department of Pearl Academy. We execute, document, and promote anything and everything Pearl related on social media platforms while also working on our own engaging campaigns.
Simone (PC): Plan Clan is the perfect bridge between college life and professional life. It is an official student body of Pearl that handles every student activity from fun workshops to large-scale events. Aside from management, we’ve got student societies in dance, drama, music gaming, and whatnot.
Q. 2 After 2-3 years of lockdown, Pearl Portfolio finally happened and everyone was highly anticipating it. How did your team prepare for the event and how long did it take?
Vanshika (DN): Our graphic team started coordinating with the Plan Clan team a month back. We were constantly producing Instagram posts, stories, reels, and announcements. A week before the event we conducted frequent meetings, assigned tasks, and made sure the execution was perfect. The whole process was very fun!
Vashu (PC): For the last three years, we were waiting for this day. My entire team was all set for a blast. For Pearl Utsav, we got a few days to prepare because many things were yet to be finalized – like the artist, venue, judges, and sponsors. In less than a month’s time, we did all the possible arrangements. All the societies from fashion, dance, and drama to music and photography, practised several times for the most awaited Broadway Show – “Alexa in Wonderland”.
Q. 3 What were some of the main challenges you faced before or during the event?
Simone (PC): Finding people and aligning them with the purpose of the event. Another thing was the uncertainty of it. The event had been cancelled 2-3 times before due to the pandemic. However, things started falling into place as time progressed. By dividing work and having faith in our team members, we overcame these challenges.
Vashu (PC): Venue was the main challenge for the entire team, as multiple events were happening at the same place one after another, sometimes simultaneously. The entire team of volunteers managed the crowd of more than 6000-7000 people throughout the day.
Vanshika (DN): The team had to be closely knit to make sure everything from fashion shows to panel discussions went smoothly. The communication and coordination sometimes became a little tricky, but we sailed through!
Karan (DN): We had a team of 15 people to manage internally but with collaborative effort, we made it through.
Q. 4 Tell us how it was working in a team and how did you guys co-ordinate?
Simone (PC): We had to take the lead and bring in people from different batches who can work efficiently.
Vashu (PC): Co-ordination had never been a problem for us. Luckily Simone and I are blessed with a team who respects us and our decisions. Our entire army was with us and was a great support to both of us.
Karan (DN): We were in constant touch with every team member and we were spamming each other on our common group notifying them where and when they were needed. We made sure that everyone was briefed about event requirements and timings.
Q. 5 What was the most exciting part of the event and why?
Vashu (PC): The water shower at the fashion show was mesmerising and a unique concept. For Utsav, Broadway and the concert of Arjun Kanungo was the main highlight in addition to Gaurav Kapoor’s rib-tickling standup comedy. We got a huge footfall throughout the event, and this made me the happiest!
Karan (DN): Definitely, the hustle. Even though the event was epic work, I enjoyed meeting people – be it the celebrities or the students from across the city. The fashion shows were also a great experience.
Q. 6 Pearl Portfolio witnessed some high-profile industry leaders like Sunil Sethi, Smt. Darshana (MoS in the Ministry of Railways of India) and celebrities like Prit Kamani, Arjun Kanungo, and Gaurav Kapoor. What was it like working with them?
Simone (PC): Plan Clan doesn’t work like most student bodies where we do the paperwork and the authorities take things forward. At Pearl, we’ve been mentored and polished in a way that we are the ones to take charge from scratch. So, we were the ones to invite these leaders and celebrities and engage in conversations with them. Hence, when they graced the show we felt relieved, honoured, and had a sense of achievement.
Karan (DN): We were taking interviews and video bytes of them through which we got to hear about their insights and experiences which was quite inspiring. Working in close proximity with such celebrities helped me understand their journey better.
Q.7 How did the college and its faculty guide you along this journey?
Vanshika (DN): I’m so thankful for our faculty. From encouraging us to being available at all times, they were extremely supportive. I was personally on the call with Aakriti Ma’am from 7 in the morning until we reached home. Not once did we face any sort of hesitance. They made us feel comfortable in reaching out to them.
Vashu (PC): Our head, Ms Shalini Bisht, was major support as she made sure that we are comfortable with sharing anything and everything with her. We worked as colleagues and not as student-mentors.
Q. 8 Events and fests like Portfolio provide a great window for students to explore their passion and get an on-field experience. What does this opportunity mean for you?
Simone (PC): Honestly, this experience means everything to me. Aside from classrooms, we got to learn how this industry works and make lifelong memories.
Karan (DN): I’m thankful for the life-like industry experience. Getting to manage events on such a massive level was a huge opportunity for us.
Vanshika (DN): This opportunity means a lot to me as I was able to see my personal growth and see myself as a future industry expert. We became more confident in taking risks and getting out of our comfort zones.
Q.9 How were these learnings different from what you learned in the classroom?
Vanshika (DN): In class, you have the comfort of your friends and teachers, especially in online classes. You can make mistakes. In such events, there is no time for self-doubts. We have to be quick on our feet and make immediate decisions.
Vashu (PC): Definitely different from classroom learning as these things cannot be taught inside four walls. I feel blessed that I got this opportunity to learn and explore different possibilities, and it changed my perception of handling certain situations.
Q.10 What value do you think events like Pearl Portfolio add to the industry?
Simone (PC): All innovations that young people can bring into practice can only be done by someone willing to experiment and explore. The event gives a platform to such people where their efforts can be recognized by renowned professionals.
Q. 11 Given a chance to host Pearl Portfolio again, what do you think you would’ve done differently?
Karan (DN): For some of the members, this event was their first experience organizing an event on such a large scale hence giving them more reassurance and experience would be one.
Vanshika (DN): I would’ve believed in myself a bit more and could’ve worked on improving the internal communication of the team.
Vashu (PC): We would’ve kept different venues and dates for multiple events of equal scale that required equal attention and manpower.
Simone (PC): I wouldn’t want to change anything as even the mess-ups make up part of the learning experience.
Q. 12 Lastly, a message for everyone who attended, organized or performed at Pearl Portfolio 22
Simone (PC): Everyone who attended and performed at Pearl Portfolio 22 has my heart and my tears. I’m grateful to everyone who gave in their support and hard work and made Pearl what it is today.
Vashu (PC): I would like to send all my love and warmth to my entire team. I would cherish this memory of working with you throughout my life. All the best to each one of you for all your future projects.
Karan (DN): It was the most hyped-up event of the year for Pearl Academy. I believe everyone should get to experience this once in their life as being in the same room as such profound leaders gave us great inspiration.
Vanshika (DN): Walking alongside such admirable leaders and being in the same space as them was an honourable experience and I hope everyone got to feel the same.
The success of Pearl Portfolio 22 is a testimony to the magnitude of opportunity Pearlites receive to showcase their talents. At Pearl Academy, students are never short of platforms where they can showcase their innovations in front of industry frontrunners, hone their skills, and become confident professionals. If you want to lead in the industry, check out our long-term and short-term courses spanning across Media, Fashion, Design, and Business, and move a step closer to your dream.