The most influential and inspiring industry specialists came together at INCA 2017 with one agenda, to reshape nightlife culture in India.

On 30th September and 1st October 2017, Four Seasons, Worli, Mumbai, was livened with the action of the second edition of India Nightlife Convention & Awards (INCA). Presented by The National Restaurant Association of India(NRAI) and Kickstart Entertainment in association with Budweiser, the event was a landmark step in getting the most influential people from the nightlife, restaurateur, food and beverage industry from India and across the world. The two-day convention and awards ceremony didn’t just showcase the ever-evolving nightlife culture, but in turn instilled a sense of brotherhood among the industry’s most influential hospitality entrepreneurs and specialists, while also exposing India as a global nightlife capital on the global map.

Set up in the first-class and prestigious setting of the renowned Four Seasons Hotel in Worli, Mumbai, the event was well catered and of great grandeur.

The convention was marked with topics of discussions ranging from vibrant nightlife, women’s safety, evolution of the hospitality industry and the nightlife across the world. Prominent influencers and industrialists such as Riyaaz Amlani, AD Singh, Ravi Krishnan, Kartikeya Sharma, Marketing Director, AB InBev, and from across the world, Mirik Milan ( Night Mayor of Amsterdam ), Amy Lamé ( Night Czar of London ) , Lutz Leichsenring ( Club Commission of Berlin ) , Jorge Saza ( Night Ambassador of Madrid ) , Frederic Hocquard ( Deputy Mayor – Night Time Policies- Parisare ), all came together to divulge their insights, secrets, experience, and solutions towards creating a more vibrant nightlife and bar culture in India.

Day 1 was kickstarted with an insightful address to the room by Ben Verhaert, MD of Budweiser Indiaon the current scenario of the hospitality industry and the need for India to flourish in its nightlife culture and acceptance. Offering her insights and speaking about the bustling nightlife in London, Amy Lamé, the Night Czar of London, discussed how nightlife is an integral part of culture globally, and while it is important for a city to have a vibrant nightlife, it is also important to regulate in a fun and safe way to ensure healthy growth.

Amy Lamé shed light on the possibilities and different ways India as a country could incorporate a healthy nightlife practice while also staying true to our culture without plagiarising the west. A keynote of her talk was the address of importance of ensuring women’s safety.


Executive Editor, Mirror Now, Faye D’Souza set the tone for opening the discussion of a ”Fun & Safe Nightout” with an eminent panel comprising of Amy Lamé (Night Czar of London), Riyaaz Amlani (President, NRAI), Frederic Hocquard (Deputy Mayor – Night Time Policies- Parisare), Shatbhi Basu, Kartikeya Sharma (Marketing Director, AB InBev) and Farhan Azmi (Leader, Samajwadi Party).

Other eminent influencers included Riyaaz Amlani (President, NRAI), Shobhita Kadan (Director- Marketing & Hospitality, Impresario Hospitality) and Varun Patra (Co-Founder, Homegrown) panelling discussions such as ‘Nightlife Safety’, ‘The Next Step – Building the Music Culture’, ‘Annus Horribilis- Surviving the Worst Year in Hospitality’ and ‘Building the Vibe in a Bar’.

The discussions were key to bring the industry together and an awakening call for the government to also revamp the outdated norms to work together with NRAI and the rest of the nightlife and bar industry to make India a booming nightlife zone as well.

The 2-day business convention was also supported and marked with the presence of celebrities such as Rishi Kapoor, Shriya Saran, Sameer Kochhar and more. Additionally

Additionally, INCA 2017 received its level of grandeur with the presence of Aditya Thackeray (Head of YUVA Sena). In his address, Aditya Thackeray revealed that the campaign of a 24/7 Mumbai is now a proposed bill, which was received with much delight by the industrialists in attendance. Supporting the rising and much-needed nightlife scenario in India, he went on to add that Mumbai will soon have hotspots, rooftop bars and food trucks in dedicated areas.


Riyaaz Amlani, President, NRAI, says. Nightlife is an integral part of the cultural landscape of our country, and the NRAI is absolutely thrilled to support INCA in their endeavour to recognize and celebrate thought leadership in this space. Nightlife not only promotes tourism but it also plays a pivotal role in creating the cultural perception of a city or a country across the globe. It provides the push which is essential to any burgeoning city’s economy and livability index. Last but not least, going out is demographic agnostic and thereby highly inclusive, making it a bigger propeller for change.”

City and Regional Awards for various hospitality sectors were distributed over both days to an elated gathering of the finest specialists in the hospitality, food, beverage and nightlife industry.

The day came to an end with an effervescent gathering for the Corona Sundowner afterparty where RaaChab (Sophrosyne) and Ankit Kochar (Ankytrixx) had the crowd grooving to their underground sounds under the starry sky.

The second day of the event was headed on with discussions covering more topics on nightlife, bars, artists in India and the importance of all industrialists working in tandem with each other to reap the best results.

Panels on the second day were moderated by leaders and idealists such as Vishal Dadlani (Music Composer and Singer), Ayaz Basrai (Architect and Interior Designer)DJ Akhtar, Aneesh Bhasin (Co-Founder and CEO of Hipcask) and Vivek Dudani (Head of Programming – Social & AntiSocial).

The final panel of the day was led by Vishal Dadlani with Milind Deora (Former Union Minister of State and MP), Kaustubh Dhavse (Joint Secretary and Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Hon. Chief Minister), Amy Lame, Mirik Milan and Riyaaz Amlani, at the helm of the forward-moving discussion.

Key takeaways from the culminating talk included realizing the current obstacles to nightlife in India, overcoming the challenge of cultural and societal norms, making nightlife open to all and not just catering to the privileged, and drafting reforms to meet the goals of making Indian nightlife a global attraction.

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The night culminated on a celebratory note for Indias finest caterers, hospitality specialists, bars, restaurants, artist managers and clubs as the prestigious INCA Awards rewarded the best in each category.

Summing up a rather eventful and enlightening edition 2 of the India Nightlife Convention & Awards, it is safe to say that it won’t be long before we see nightlife and culture being a booming prospect in India, and INCA and NRAI will be at the helm of it. The 2-day convention ended with all panellists, dignitaries and industrialists being in unanimous consensus towards facilitating a more vibrant, safe, inclusive nightlife in the city and across India, thereby being a vital sector which contributes to the cultural and economic growth of India.

We can’t wait to see what INCA 2018 has in store for nightlife, bars and the hospitality industry in India.

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