The wedding and events industry in India has undergone a significant transformation since its inception. Vikas Gutgutia, Founder & CEO of Ferns & Petals (FNP), a prominent player in this industry, recently shared insights into this remarkable evolution. In conversation with ETTravelWorld, he discussed how the industry has evolved since he started the company in 1994, focusing on flowers and decor.
From flowers and decor to comprehensive wedding solutions
In 1994, Vikas Gutgutia embarked on a journey that would forever alter the landscape of wedding and event planning in India. Starting as a company primarily focused on flowers and decor, Ferns & Petals has expanded its horizons, becoming one of India’s leading wedding and event companies. As Gutgutia explained, “The industry has seen major changes driven by shifts in consumer behaviour and technology. People now want to spend and enjoy life rather than save for the future. Weddings have become bigger celebrations with more spending. Families have also become nuclear, which concentrates spending on fewer weddings.”
Gutgutia highlighted a noteworthy shift in consumer behaviour. Today, individuals demand instant gratification and convenience, largely facilitated by technology. “People no longer want to wait; they can get anything delivered within half an hour through apps and online platforms,” he said. This phenomenon extends beyond everyday conveniences; it also influences wedding planning. Gutgutia speculated, “Even kitchens may become a luxury as everything is available on demand.”
Government recognition & “Wedding Ministry”
To further elevate the wedding industry, Gutgutia emphasised the need for government recognition. He urged initiatives like a dedicated Wedding Ministry to provide essential support. He stated, “The wedding industry will grow beyond current levels only when the government recognises it as an important vertical.”
As weddings become grander affairs, Gutgutia predicts the emergence of wedding insurance. Much like health insurance, wedding insurance would ensure that couples are financially covered if unexpected expenses arise. This development promises added security for couples investing in their dream weddings.
Ferns & Petals’ vision for the future – Shadi Central
Ferns & Petals has diversified its services over the years, expanding into various wedding-related sectors, such as venues, catering, and gifting. Their latest venture, Shadi Central, aims to be a “one-stop-shop” for all wedding needs. According to Gutgutia, “Shadi Central will handle everything from the initial planning to the honeymoon as a universal wedding solution.” He believes this approach aligns with the changing nature of weddings, stating, “Weddings are becoming more intimate while also becoming less traditional, with convenience taking precedence over tradition.”
Gutgutia, with over 25 years of experience in the industry, envisions continued growth driven by changes in consumer behaviour and technology adoption. He emphasised that exponential industry growth is contingent on the right government support and initiatives, including a dedicated “Wedding Ministry.” He also foresaw the industry adopting commonplace practices such as wedding insurance, divorce brokers, and pre-nuptial agreements.
Gutgutia revealed that FNP has built trust through its personalised services and focus on destination weddings. The company handles around 1,000 weddings annually, with the majority in Delhi NCR and the rest in other cities.