Paulomi Debnath is an accomplished meeting, event, and travel professional. She also owns her own business, Handmade by Tinni, and was recently named one of the UK’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs for 2022 by the f:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8, we are delighted to share Paulomi’s journey and congratulate her on such an amazing achievement.
“This award and recognition makes a brilliant start of 2022 for us at Handmade by Tinni. It is a true celebration of female entrepreneurship, and I am greatly thankful to the f:Entrepreneur and Small Business Britain team to select me as an inspiring female leader. I am so excited to meet the other winners and share mutual support, friendship, and inspiration. This is am amazing platform full of opportunities to raise the profile of the entrepreneurs like me, giving them a greater voice and access to policy makers in order to contribute to key issues impacting female business owners. I simple cannot wait to get started.Paulomi Debnath, Founder, Handmade by Tinni
Celebrating Aspiring Women – Meet the Artist
Paulomi was born and brought up in India and has lived in London for the past 15 years. She has always been passionate about handcrafted unique jewelry and, being Indian, has been spoiled for choice and inspiration. Her art is heavily influenced by the bright colors of nature, the exotic places she has travelled, and the rich Indian heritage and colors. Paulomi launched Handmade by Tinni in 2020 as a sustainable modern textile design brand that creates unique wearable art. She chose organic cotton as her primary material as it is biodegradable and extremely flexible, allowing the designs to flow freely. Specializing in the art of traditional rope knotting and processes like macramé, Paulomi creates colorful, unique, and bold designs that make you feel special. By adding zero-waste designs and partnering with Ecology, she is making a positive impact with her brand.
Tell us about your role with M&IW. When did you start and what is your current role?
I joined M&IW in September 2016, and my first day at work was at the all-company meeting at the time named Campus Week, now called the M&IW Summit. I was greeted with a strong bear hug from Jean and Tina, our two owners. I can never forget that warm welcome!
As a Senior Event Sourcing Manager, I am part of the Event Sourcing Team, and I am based in London. I am an international sourcing expert and work with various clients for our company.
How long have you been in the events and travel industry?
Can I share that without sharing my age? In all honesty, it has been 20+ wonderful years. I am fortunate to have worked with some of the top brands in the industry, including Corinthia, Starwood (now Marriott), Carlson Rezidor, Hilton, Thistle, and Guoman. Specifically in the last seven years, I have only worked in 5-star luxury travel, and that has changed my whole outlook of the travel industry. The goal is not just to find a hotel or venue but to provide a unique setting for the best experience for my clients. For me, luxury travel sales represents the most unique experiences that create lifelong memories.
I have also been part of the opening team of two grand hotels in the UK, one being a “game changer” in the London luxury hotel scene and the other being one of the top golf resorts in the world. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had these invaluable experiences that enriched me in so many ways, which I hope to use in all scopes of my work in the coming years.
And last but not least, the past five years at M&IW has been the cherry on the top. After 15 years in hotels sales, I wanted to try out the other side of hospitality sales. I have been managing third-party agencies throughout my career and have always wondered how the work is done in the agency world. What is the REAL driving force in making a final decision on a hotel or a venue? Who and what drives the motivation towards a certain brand? When the opportunity to join M&IW’s rapidly expanding international procurement division in London came knocking, I jumped at the opportunity to officially become the client/agent. And what a journey it has been so far!
What do you value or enjoy most about M&IW?
Our team spirit, inclusivity, flexibility, appreciation of each other, agility, growth mentality… the list is endless. What I love and aspire to be the most is our passionate and inspirational leaders, Tina and Jean. I love the fact that we are small enough to look out for each other and pivot nimbly and quickly and at the same time strong enough to hold our ground and do business with industry leaders. The last two years have been brutal for the events industry, but I am so proud of how our organization has risen to the challenge to become an even stronger team together.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in a career in the travel and hospitality industry?
Bring your own creativity and passion to the table. Be curious and open to new ideas, but be prepared to work hard. This industry never sleeps! So forget the conventional hours. But if you are open to learn, this is the best industry to work for. We get to travel, deliver events, host incentives, curate dinners for our clients, and more. No two events are the same, so you will never get bored!
What’s the most interesting or unique destination or property you’ve sourced for a client’s event and why?
Sanctuary Cap Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It is an absolutely stunning destination and property. It is an all-inclusive resort located in Cap Cana, a private gated community in Punta Cana. Cap Cana is made up of 30,000 acres of flawless beaches and oceanfront valley roads. It is the ideal destination for any type of traveler with a variety of things to do, such as water sports and outdoor activities, and high-quality restaurants. This destination is also home to Punta Espada Golf Club, one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean. Cap Cana also holds one of the most spectacular marinas in the world, famous and accredited by international journals for its fishing. All of these amenities combined with Cap Cana’s turquoise waters and white sand beaches make it one of the most beautiful and desirable vacation spots in the world. Our client was spoiled at this resort and destination. They could stay at the hotel and use all their on-property activities or explore the island with nature tours or dine-arounds.
What is something that most people would not know about you?
I’ve been named one of the UK’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs for 2022 by Small Business Britain. (Although if you’re reading this blog post, then you probably already know that!) Launched in 2018, the f:Entrepreneur #ialso100 campaign is now in its fourth year and celebrates a plethora of UK female entrepreneur talent. It is a campaign to highlight, celebrate, and promote incredible female entrepreneurs and share their stories with the wider community.
The campaign recognizes business owners who wear many hats. From my 20+ years of experience in the hotel sector to being the Founder and Designer at Handmade by Tinni, who says you can’t have a job and also a passion!
Last one: What would you like to tell yourself at age 13?
Do not stop dreaming! Play more cricket! Make more jewelry with your mother’s old saree! Cuddle your mum more and often as she is the most inspirational women that you will ever meet, and one day, you will be living 6,000 miles away from her and it will be a luxury to give her those cuddles—video calls are not the same! You will always be curvy and beautiful! You will never be that great in creative writing, but do try to improve if you can! Smile even more and laugh even louder!
Sr. Event Sourcing Manager
Meetings & Incentives Worldwide
Founder, Handmade by Tinni