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Bridging The Gap: Interview With India's Oldest Korean Culture Events Company

Bridging The Gap: Interview With India's Oldest Korean Culture Events Company
Bridging The Gap: Interview With India's Oldest Korean Culture Events Company

Founders of Pink Box Events pose with K-Pop group KARD at their concert in New Delhi, India

Pink Box Events is a company led by an all-women team set up in 2015. The founders of Pink Box Events, affectionately known as PBE amongst the Indian K-pop community, have worked extensively for the past five years to bridge the gap between India and South Korea. They have worked with more than 10 K-Pop artists and organised more than 20 K-Pop concerts and exclusive fan-meetings in 13 cities all over India. Apart from working with various Korean artists, it is the first Indian company which was successful in bringing one of the most globally acclaimed K-pop groups, KARD, to India in 2019.



Recently, despite the on-going pandemic, Pink Box Events participated in a charity concert organised by Hungama, one of India's most prominent music website, titled 'Independent Together’ to raise funds for the daily wage labourers of India affected by COVID-19 crises. True to their motto of bridging the gap, this charity concert witnessed a cultural amalgamation of the two countries as K-Pop artist Dabit performed at the concert along with other artists from Bollywood, the heart of Indian cinema, and various other independent artists from India and around the world.



Hello! Could you please introduce yourselves and Pink Box Events to our readers? I'm sure they'd love to know about the people working behind the scenes to make their dreams come true.



PBE: Hi everyone, Pink Box is a result of four family-like friends who started this venture to bring the Hallyu closer to home. We started it in January 2015 and ever since then, it has been a great journey. We take pride in being the oldest company in India to work with Korean artists.

In many of your Instagram live streams, it has been mentioned that all of the PBE founders have been friends for a long time. Is that true? How were your lives before PBE? Can you tell us a little about your pre-PBE Korean culture fan days?




PBE: Yes, it is true! Two of us are actually siblings and the rest of us met years back. I think we all grew up listening to K-pop and watching K-dramas because we could relate a lot with our food and culture habits. Also, as compared to the rest of India, the majority of people from Northeast have been exposed to this genre from a very early age because of various factors. Before PBE, I think we had time to indulge in it as a fun activity but now, along with that, it has become our work and passion.


Founders of Pink Box Events

Image source: Pink Box Events



There must be a story behind the inception of Pink Box Events. I'm sure many of our readers would be curious to know the events leading to Pink Box Events. Can you share your memories with us? Is there any significance of the name and the logo?



Pink Box Events Logo

image source: Pink Box Events 


PBE: For the past few years, all of us were working in the Korean Music industry at various capacities and we were also fortunate enough to have been associated with the Korean Cultural Centre India since 2013. But because they are a Government body, they only have a limited number of events and we noticed that there are so many fans who dream to see their idols. There was no individual group to take that one step forward to promote K-pop and bring Korean artists to the country, so we took a leap of faith and started the journey of Pink Box Events in 2015. As mentioned, we are an all women-led company and we want to promote women in the future as we expand as well. We were thinking of names and then thought we'd add some colour to it. Pink was something that we all decided wasn't our favourite colour but we didn't hate it either and all of us had a mutual liking for it so we decided to go for it. This journey was also something which was out of the box at the time, no one had ventured into it. Hence the name, Pink Box.



Being one of the very first Korean culture organising company, could you tell us about the K-pop events you have managed and artists you have worked with?



PBE members with K-Pop group MONT at the Hornbill Festival, Nagaland 


Image source: Pink Box Events

K-Pop star Jang Han-Byul at Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong, Meghalaya

Image Source: Pink Box Events 

Dabit at Korean Culture Centre India for an exclusive fan-meeting organised by Pink Box Events

Image source: Pink Box Events



PBE: We have worked with almost all artists that have come to India since 2014. NSONIC was the first K-POP group to hold a concert in India and we worked with them in January 2015. Ever since then, we have worked with multiple artists like Dabit, Hayana, JJCC, Teentop, IMFACT, MONT, Jang Hanbyul, KARD to name a few. We were also the first to hold a concert in association with the Govt of Nagaland in their acclaimed 'Hornbill Festival' and that has been by far the biggest K-POP concert in India as it hosted around 13,000 audiences! Apart from that we have also had multiple shows and tours across India and have toured in around 13 cities. We have also partnered with the Korean Embassy, the Korean Cultural Centre, KOTRA, KTO and Govt. of Nagaland, Govt. Of Meghalaya etc.



In 2019, Pink Box Events created a stir in the Indian K-pop community by announcing KARD's 'Play Your Kard Right Tour' in India. How was your experience working with one of the world's most popular K-pop groups? Are there any interesting instances while working with them that you would like to share with our readers?


KARD during their India Tour at Guwahati, Assam

Image source: Pink Box Events

Fans at KARD's Guwahati concert

Image source: Pink Box Events

KARD during their concert at New Delhi

Image source: Pink Box Events

PBE members with KARD and the Director of Korean Culture Centre

Image Source: Pink Box Events



PBE: It was an incredible experience. KARD was a group that we had been trying to bring since their first pre-debut song released. It took us a long time but we finally did it! The tour was very close to our heart. Guwahati was not our plan A but there were a lot of things that happened behind the scenes and at some point, we thought cancelling would be a better choice but we decided to once more take a leap of faith. As soon as things were finalised, we immediately announced it. As organisers, we were nervous since the time frame was limited and we couldn't promote for the timeframe we initially thought of, but despite the given circumstances, we sold out on both shows. We were stressed and anxious but the fans made this possible. During the Guwahati show, BM announced that it was the best outdoor show that they had ever done and it made us proud! We always have a team dinner after every event, so after the show in Guwahati we all sat down to have our dinner and the first thing we heard was BM saying "So, when are you bringing us back?". It, kind of, gave us a different kind of relief and assurance that we made our guests feel at home and that they enjoyed the tour as much as everyone did.



During one of your Instagram live sessions, you have mentioned that all of the founders have their jobs apart from Pink Box Events. It must have been extremely difficult to manage your schedules. Since I have been attending your events, I have seen all of you extremely tired yet working endlessly to ensure a great experience for all the fans. What keeps you motivated to keep Pink Box Events alive despite having your personal lives?


A snapshot of a fragment of the PBE family from one of KARD's concert at Guwahati, Assam

Image Source: Pink Box Events



PBE: I think all of us are passionate about what we do. We have always strived to bring the best experience for our PBE family and, to be honest, there are so many beautiful memories that keep us motivated. Pink Box has been a safe space for all of us, a space where we came to and which comforted us when we were overwhelmed, we wanted to create the same experience for everyone as well. And thankfully, over the years, we have had so many instances which made us proud and happy for what we did and for doing this simultaneously along with our respective lives. We received so many letters, handmade gifts, a fan baked a cake for us and one time someone even got us home-made food! One time a group of girls waited for more than 2 hours after the concert just to hug us and hand us letters. It's the thought that matters, you know. All of us cried reading them. We don't just do events/concerts, we create memories with them and I think that's what makes it different for us to keep pushing even when times are difficult.



I am sure you must have faced many hurdles during your journey to bring Hallyu closer to India. What was the most difficult obstacle you have encountered until now?



PBE: I think in the beginning it was definitely the concept of holding a K-POP concert since it was a very new thing, something that had not been tried before. We faced issues with sponsorships and also, selling tickets. The fans were also quite new to this concept and for us, since we were the ones investing in, we needed to know that fans were open to the idea of attending concerts and so, we slowly expanded our areas and artists. Unlike other countries, most of us still have to rely on our parents for permissions or to buy tickets and that itself was a big hurdle in itself. Also, the geography of our country, multiple fandoms, price of tickets etc. But over the years, we have seen how this has been shifting and so, we are very grateful. If you look back in our history, we tried a lot of things to make people aware of this concept and we are proud and grateful of the fact that this took momentum on its own and thankfully now, it's been a lot smoother than the beginning. Hence for new companies as well, it is easier to dive into this market, since most of the Indian K-POP fans have been exposed to attending concerts/fanmeets in India and have been cooperating. The idea for Pink Box has always been to start small and gradually grow and that is what we have been trying to do; one step at a time.



Do you think Hallyu has finally arrived in India? What are your plans for the future? Are there any recent projects that you are working on?




PBE: Of course! When we started in 2015, we were the only company promoting K-pop and bringing Korean artists to India. We started with hardly a hundred and today, we have met more than 50,000 fans, 20 plus events and travelled across the country. Over the last 2 years or so, so many other companies are slowly entering the market and doing their bit promoting events and that itself is an evidence that K-pop is growing so rapidly. This shows that the potential of K-pop having a market in India is being recognised. 2020 was supposed to be a year filled with so many exciting projects but everything is on hold because of the pandemic. We are currently working on 3 projects; we are just hoping this ends soon and we all come out of it safely. We miss the hustle of holding concerts and the connections that we share with fans.


Would you like to say something to the Korean culture fans in India who rely on Pink Box Events to fulfil their dreams of meeting their favourite Korean artists?


PBE: We have always followed the philosophy that the beginning is always the most important and so, we are so grateful to everyone who stood with us from the beginning. There are so many of them who were with us since we started and we remember their faces and some of their names too. We are here because of you all. We understand that there are so many groups and we are trying our best to bring as many as possible but we also hope that you can all support us. It doesn't necessarily have to be by attending, it can also be by sharing about the event. We hope that together we will all be able to reach higher heights. We are so grateful to all of you, without you we wouldn't be here and we hope to continue this journey together. Let's all meet again in a safer time until then, stay home and stay safe.


Thank you so much for your time and I wish you all the luck for your future events!