With his 29 years of age, Ahmed El-Ganzoury has been the man who would turn a rusty wooden space into an über-glam dance floor changing the party scene in Egypt forever, where movers and shakers were born under his glitzy disco ball.
Ten years ago it all began with various events and partners until he eventually established his own company ‘ByGanz: Events Extraordinaire’; giving the word party a whole new meaning. From the North Coast to Sequoia to Al Shagara or Wabi Sabi Sushi Bar it seems that all he touches turns to glam.
We met with Ganzoury at his office in Heliopolis without any Go-Go dancers hanging from the ceiling or shiny disco balls in the main entrance, but with a humble apartment filled with files and folders and people working hard to achieve and maintain originality.
Tell us how did all begin?
I began on my own without any family support. I come from a family with a political background and most of them work in the medical field, we own the Ganzoury Hospitals. At first, my family wanted me to quit the “events thing” and thought that I was doing something far away from their identity, but I changed their perspective when I started doing charity events and they’re totally into what I do now.
Did you face any obstacles at the beginning of your business?
In Egypt the government hardly supports new ideas and initiatives and people who start major projects on their own sometimes face lots of obstacles to get the strings together. The Ministry of Tourism in Spain for example, supports and funds events and parties as they relate the success of parties directly to increased tourism. In Egypt it is the opposite, the government does not give any support and in fact even hinder you by making things difficult. But thank God we are doing pretty well.
How easy is it to prepare for an event?
Having a glamorous event isn’t a walk in the park like many people might think. Rumor had it that I make millions of profits from one party but that’s not true. I spend on the transportation of waiters from New York and DJ’s from around the globe in addition to dancers from Europe. Making a good party is never about the money, it’s about the theme and creativity. A lot of other event management companies put large budgets in parties and the parties fail before even getting started. There are also lots of other event management companies in Egypt which make huge amounts of money from their parties even more than ours but we prefer to spend on every little detail to make ours special and original. Ideas come to light when I’m on the treadmill and I start connecting the dots to come up with a theme like that of El Gouna’s 2010’s New Year’s Party ‘Circus’, for example. From Bob Sinclair to Sophie Ellis Bextor, we brought many infamous DJs and choreographed wind-up dancers in the last couple of years. Last year’s Sahel was rocked by Djs like Freemasons, Oscar De Riviera and many others who formed a swaying mass on Marassi’s dance floor.
I get very stressed at the beginning of my parties, I even get to vomit four times a day from the stress, and I’m the only one who gets very little of the fun and my team makes sure that everyone is trouble-free. If someone causes any trouble at the parties, I tell my friends who are in charge of other parties like DJ Samba and the partners of Tamarai to blacklist them at their parties too and by the way, I never forget a face (laughs).
Is Egypt ready to be pinned on the global events map?
Getting known DJs isn’t an easy mission as Egypt’s partying reputation abroad isn’t that nice due to many problems that occur at some parties with all the destruction and chaos. But these people are familiar with ByGanz and they get to know our plans and preparation outlines so they’re quite sure that if they come they won’t get into any trouble.
Why haven’t you started abroad with your party culture?
Achieving it all in my country is what I am trying hard to accomplish. I want to do everything in Egypt regardless the difficulty.
What do you do other than partying?
Many would think that my life doesn’t include a 9 to 5 job routine and that my life is a big party, but behind the scenes I am a guy with early working hours, I go to the gym and watch movies at home. I love “Raya wa Sekina” (laughs) and Desperate Housewives, Prison Break and I like cooking. I do a good steak and salmon by the way, I learned the recipes from DJ Samba, we always get together and cook when we’re not working. I rarely go out in Egypt; I bet that you rarely see me at parties unless they are ByGanz events. I’m a family guy too, I love family. My nephews are my friends.
We have many projects in the pipeline but nothing is in its final shape yet. I just want speak out a very big Thank You to everybody supporting ByGanz. They are the ones who make my day when they bump into me on the street saying how much they have fun at my events, they’re amazing.