Deepak Kumar, owner of the New Public Sound in Meerut (UP) is a smart businessman. He foresaw how Indian weddings would change in the years to come and introduced DJ bands as one of the services to his family business of catering and wedding decor.
My family has been in the business of catering and wedding decor for many decades. So I have seen Indian weddings evolve over the years. It made good business sense to move ahead with the times and keep innovating as per the demands of the clients.
Ten years ago, I discussed the idea of getting equipment for a DJ Band with my father. He was a bit hesitant at first, but then he gave a go-ahead. With an initial investment of about Rs 2-3 lakh, we bought sound boxes, music systems, trolley, etc. And the band was set up. Since then, there has been no looking back.
Unlike the conventional brass band set-up, you do not need much man-power. All you need is a person, who can handle the music system and a few helping hands, who can push the trolley and carry the chandeliers.
These days, marriages are grand and expensive affairs with celebrations lasting for almost 10 days. People want DJs for all the functions, such as engagement parties, mehendi, sangeet, cocktail party, reception etc. Naturally, wedding seasons are the busiest, but we never run out of bookings throughout the year. Our DJ set-up is used at other parties as well. We even play during the Kanvad yatras every year in the months of July and August. Even Muslim families are shedding their conventional barriers and hiring our services for their family functions.
On some days, when we have too many bookings, we have to hire DJ equipment, which is quite common these days.
We might be accused of eating into the businesses of brass bands, but the fact is that though brass bands make less economic sense, they still have a niche clientele. They require a different set of skills and they are still quite sought after by people, who prefer a more traditional wedding procession. These traditional bands require more manpower and a host of other instruments.
As compared to that, our business is quite low maintenance. All we need is a ‘music savvy person, who can handle the music system (the CD player, song reverser, etc.). Nowadays, even a smartphone can do the job of a music system, they just need to be plugged into the sound boxes. Technology is changing and getting cheaper. It makes sense to change with the times. Some of my friends, who are into the conventional brass band business, are now thinking of adding DJ band to their existing set-ups.
A friend of mine had chosen to carry forward his family legacy of brass bands. But he has been suffering losses. After a lot of persuasion, his father has agreed to add DJ services. The investment is not much and if you already have a supportive set-up (in his case the brass band) you need not to worry much.
Other brass band owners have also opted for this. One Raja Band has already started providing a package deal of DJ services along with brass bands. His wedding processions look rather appealing, when his brass band walks along the DJ band. His charges are higher, but at weddings these days, people do not hesitate to pay a little extra.