It had been ages since there was a blogger meet organized in Chennai. Echovme decided to end the drought and brought the bloggers of Chennai together in one roof. I thank them for that. The meeting was organized by Echovme and was sponsored by Urban Tree, one of the top builders in Chennai.
It was a long day for me. I had to attend a kick ass writers meet up before I started to the meet. The hotel was easy to find and I was late, which was very unusual for me. But right after they checked me in, I was given a big bag full of goodies. It had a badge, a t-shirt, a cap and whole lot of things. We were asked to pose with our favorite placard in hand and I chose, follow my blog since I am not active in Facebook or Twitter.
The quiz and introductory session had already started when I went in the hall. I found a place near my friends and the fun started right away. I should thank the person who hosted the show. She allowed people give me their prizes since I didn’t know answers for most of her questions. I got a pen drive. Yay!
The fun was followed by the welcome speech by Sorav Jain, the Thinker-in-chief (cool title boss) of Echovme, welcomed us all and thanked the sponsors. He was right when he said, the startups should look to involve bloggers in their brand building activities and the network of bloggers will do a world of good to them.
Shyam Ranganathan of Ennada Rascala, gave a short but hilarious stand-up comedy. After a point of time, he didn’t think microphone was necessary and I personally felt, when he dropped it, he was more relaxed and the jokes were flowing. It was amazing how he had got that flow between his jokes. Not a single dull moment during his whole show. Hats off Man. See I told you, you wouldn’t end up in Google+.
Tambola followed the stand up comedy. Since I do not know much about this, I would skip explaining this. But whoever had an understanding in the game had a field day. And the vouchers were much more valuable than the pen drive I got. It was so thoughtful of the even organizers to give gift vouchers from Starmark, a leading bookstore in Chennai, rather than the usual flipkart vouchers.
The team event started off after this. The crowd was divided into four teams namely Oxygen, Superb, Infinity and Wow, all being the names of the properties developed by Urban tree. This gave us a lot of time to interact and get to know the bloggers. I found a blogger who was from my hometown. We exchanged blog urls, twitter handles and some bloggers came prepared with visiting cards et al., After knowing each other, the competition needed us to create a quick, creative ads for the properties we were assigned to. Me being stage shy, silently joined the crowd, but Ganesh Puttu was excellent in our Ad Zap.
Then came the surprise part in the bloggers meet. Usually we have the sponsor’s presentation time to get out and have a quick smoke and sneak back in. The presentation by Mr. Abhinay Mehta was not like that. I started liking the presentation instantly, because he talked about his brother, who was not present in the hall that day and then about his employees before coming to himself. I always like it when successful people do that.
There were very important key differential factors which make Urban Tree properties what it is. Firstly, the boss was very honest and straight forward. He didn’t shy away from accepting that people calling the contracting companies a cheat more often than not. It was not the problems that they faced fascinated me but their clever ideas to address each issue. For example, the main problem with builders these days are the lack of communication. Urban tree holds a monthly meeting. Secondly I don’t think most of the builders think about the economically available luxury villas in prime location. When a builder is building in Porur or close to Porur, they apartment starts from 1 Crore these days. But the properties start from 30 Lakhs and ends up in 1 crore with Urban Tree.
The most important thing that was shared by Mr. Abhinay Mehta which could be followed by everyone is “If there is nothing to hide; there is nothing to fear”. I kept on thinking about that. It made a lot of sense. He also explained about what green houses are and how they have their own engineers to ensure the quality and safety, the alternative ways that they take to make sure the house is safe for the infants.
The important question one asks the builder is “When will our apartments will be handed over to us?” When the builder gives a date, we add six months to it and be content if we get it in that time. I have seen people in Bangalore who is waiting for two years to get their apartments delivered to them. But Urban tree pay the customers when they delay. It will be very much helpful for the first time owners as they would have taken the loans in enthusiasm and would have been paying the EMIs as well as the monthly rents.
He also explained how green building are not only sustainable for the environment but also save 18-20% in energy, 20-25% in water and provide enhanced air quality. People do not need to go buy apartment at the outskirts anymore if all the builders are as responsible as Urban tree.
The most important part of the meeting was with the presentation of blogger awards which was bagged by my friends Shrinidhi, Aarti Krishnakumar and Ganga Bharani. A high tea was arranged with the delicious evening snacks. It was a wonderful evening to socialize and get to know people better.
Sure there were some hiccups, but I would not mention it in public forum. I wish the organizers Echovme all the best and thank them once again for holding such a good meet in so many month. I would also like to thank Urban tree for sponsoring a memorable evening.