How many times have we watched a movie in which an actor surprises his leading lady with a grand gesture – a flash mob in the middle of the mall, a surprise yacht proposal or even a firecracker display – and wondered how this could be done in real life? Everyone wants their life to be like a movie at some point... and therein steps in Sakthivel Paneerselvam and his team of ‘happiness consultants’ as they term themselves. With Now based in Chennai, Sakthivel’s ‘the6.in’ is the classical example of a millennial career choice – but one that germinated almost a decade ago in his mind. “When we first introduced the concept, nobody understood what it was! A surprise meant a midnight birthday cake or a bouquet of flowers back then. Being completely bootstrapped, we had to do aggressive guerrilla marketing to popularise it – even dressing up as ninjas once and going all over the city telling people what we do,” he recalls.
Contrary to expectation, they found that more wives and girlfriends liked surprising their partners – rather than men coming up with ideas to impress the opposite sex. “Though people contact us for birthdays too, it’s mostly youngsters who are looking to ask out someone, propose, celebrate their 50th (or 100th) day of a relationship, anniversaries and so on,” explains Sakthivel.
Customers can ask for a customised experience according to their every whim or chose from the multitude of options – from a guitarist popping out of nowhere to strum a song for that special someone to flying a loved one on a private jet wherever they want.
“One of our more memorable requests was when a young chap wanted to propose to his girlfriend re-enacting the scene from Vikram’s Anniyan where Remo pulls off this grand act to impress Sadha. It took us weeks of planning to ensure the stunt went right, but we pulled it off.”
They also take care to ensure a surprise doesn’t go awry, when a girl turns down someone’s love! “Right now, we can handle any kind of surprise all over Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. We are just gaining popularity now and soon, we will expand nationally,” Sakthivel concludes.