2022: The Year Of The Creator
Entrepreneur magazine|January 2022
The pandemic might have limited our movement but the amount of content we consume has been more than ever. What made us stick while scrolling through social media all day long was the content of some amazing resources created all along. This new breed of young individuals who are making an impact with their enthusiastic, engaging, and real content and communities paying close attention to their views. Better known as influencers, these content creators are the first peak on the set of people who are generating a large following by talking to you as you would like to be heard.
Punita Sabharwal with Saurabh Kumar, S Shanthi, Saptak Bardhan, Shrabona Ghosh, Nusra & Deepa Vaidya

BHUVAN BAM

Bam Bam: Here comes the master of the universe

Sitting on 24+ Million subscribers on YouTube, Bhuvan Bam has undoubtedly been reigning the Digital space in the country for the past few years. However, in 2021 just a few months after coping with a life-changing personal tragedy, the 27-year old BB Ki Vines creator, comedian, YouTuber, singer, songwriter and now an actor, released his first-ever web show Dhindora. The YouTube series created by Bhuvan himself, featuring all his famous characters has garnered over 350 Million views within a span of fewer than 3 months and is still counting. From a young age, Bhuvan knew he had a good sense of humour but his humour will make the entire nation notice what was now known. Music was his first love and he knew he wants to connect with the audience at large.

Talking about the characters he plays, Bam says, “They are all a product of my imagination and most of them are an exaggeration of a few people that I’ve met in my family or a few people that I’ve come across in metros, or at a shopping mall. So basically none of them are real people.” For Bam, his creative juices start flowing not just with good food but with peace of mind and observation at their best. The knight rider starts working from 10 in the night when he’s at his creative best. Bam remembers when he met Shah Rukh Khan he knew if he can reach here, there’s much more to achieve. As a creative genius, we all come across creative blocks and can’t showcase the best of content; Bam has been open about it with the audience and got their support. As he says, “It’s not right to keep pushing yourself, every day, just for the sake of the content. I know my audience can wait for me.” Defining his content play, Bam says, “I try to be the mirror for the society and I let the society be the mirror for me. My work is a complete reflection of what I feel towards the society and how we have seen people around us, how we have grown up watching our families, observing the society evolve around us.” His relatable content is shown in a comic way that too with a takeaway has truly worked wonders with the audience.

Bam feels like an artist he has become more responsible now as he knows what his words mean to the masses.

SHIVESH BHATIA

The Baker

Shivesh Bhatia started baking when he was 16 and used to bake at home with his cousins. He enjoyed the experience so much that he started baking very often in his own kitchen. This was followed by a series of disasters but he kept practicing and experimenting because baking truly made him happy. Talking about his start as a content creator, Bhatia says, “I never really had a plan while I was starting offwith content creation. I was using Instagram like all my friends at school. I was posting absolutely everything and anything there, including pictures of my desserts. I realized that the dessert pictures were getting a good response. I slowly built a community around my work that later encouraged me to start with content creation and share my recipes there.” Interestingly, his YouTube channel came after his Instagram page and blog were already established! “When I was writing and posting recipes daily on my blog and Instagram, I realised that a good chunk of my audience was requesting for video recipes! So after doing video recipes on Instagram, I realized it’s time for something bigger, a dedicated place for video content. Hence, I posted my first video on YouTube on 15th March 2019 and there has been no looking back since!,” shares Bhatia. Bhatia posts a lot of eggless recipes on his YouTube channel as the majority of his audience prefers baking without eggs. As he says, “Content creation for me is mostly all about what kind of recipes my audience would like me to make! “One mantra, it has to be this - “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”

SANJEEV KAPOOR

“The day I cease to learn, I cease to exist.”

Since childhood, Sanjeev Kapoor was keen on doing something ‘out of the ordinary and different’ but making a profession in the culinary world was not his first choice. “I come from a family of foodies, so I have always been passionate about gastronomy. I still never planned to be a chef. Back then, I was preparing to be an architect. Fate had some other plans for me and I found myself applying for a Hotel Management course in Delhi from PUSA Institute,” shares Sanjeev Kapoor.

As per Kapoor, he has always been a content creator in the traditional way first, just like everyone else, curated new and unique recipes for TV, then moved onto cookbooks, and then explored the world of the internet and finally landed upon social media. Youtube came to India around 2008 and he started ‘Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana’, just a year after, in 2009. He finds YouTube to be a great platform for people who want to showcase their skills and reach out to a mass audience, all demographics per se. “Initially, it was more about streaming videos for fun but soon it became more about ‘infotainment’, watching something which is not just entertaining but informative too and eventually it grew a lot and it continues to grow even more! We currently have a strong subscriber base of almost 7 million, all of which has been built organically,” adds Kapoor.

When it comes to cooking, he feels the best way to connect with the audience is to ‘keep things simple and engaging’. This is the same mantra he followed when he first got an opportunity for a TV show or when he started curating his first book and to date, it still continues to be his idea of ‘good content’. “I always keep my content real, relevant, and relatable. And, this is what I follow till today even in the digital world. The only difference of opinion that I have with my team is on trends, I don’t follow short-term trends but I work on creating and setting trends,” claims Kapoor.

AJEY NAGAR AKA CARRY MINATI

Tim to Roast

Ajey Nagar was around 10 years old when he discovered YouTube and was instantly drawn towards its potentiality of it. “I thought about pursuing it as a full-fledged career when I was 13. It was a very intuitive calling for me. It honestly scares me sometimes when I look back and see how I dropped out to pursue the digital medium that wasn’t as evolved as it is today,” shares Nagar. It was all very organic and as a curious kid, he used to upload gameplay videos only and as time passed by, he started experimenting with his content.

Nagar’s USP is relatability and authenticity. “I try to get into the shoes of my fans and speak their mindset, language, gestures, slang, cuss words, and at times harmless abuses with no intention of harming anyone. Through my live streaming gaming channel Carryislive, I am able to connect and understand my fans better,” claims Nagar when asked about his content.

In terms of content creation, there wasn’t much of a difference cause his room is his set for most of his videos. But, during the lockdown, there was a phase wherein he faced content block and took about 5 months to put a video (THE LAND OF BIGG BOSS) on his YouTube channel. Isolation and the pandemic somewhere affected him at a very subconscious level. However, shooting for Runway 34 earlier known as Mayday helped him massively and he was able to think out of the box and deliver a video that the audience not only loved but appreciated too.

When asked about the YouTube community guidelines changing rapidly and affecting content creation, he says, “There are times when I feel this will be my last video and now, I will do something else but that day never comes. It is that surreal bond that keeps pulling me back into content creation like a magnet, it’s like I was destined for this.”

As per Nagar, next year is going to be a mix of Roast videos & Sketches on his main channel. One of his videos ‘Cancel Culture’ where he tried an English sketch for the first time, got a lot of love from the audience, he would like to incorporate it more in the coming videos.

GAURAV TANEJA

What Happened In Gym Did Not Stay In Gym

He did not choose to be a content creator, content chose him. Always a fitness enthusiast, Gaurav Taneja’s life changed when a workout video went viral. “I was at the gym working out, teaching my friend about tricep training, when he decided to go live. Soon, I was flooded with requests for my next videos,” said Gaurav Taneja aka Flying Beast, Captain, national level bodybuilder, and vlogger. Taneja’s tryst with fitness started when he was studying in IIT-Kharagpur. He was never keen on his channel until he realized he had already garnered a huge following with his fitness content, youtube. Soon he ventured into vlogging. Today he has 2.9 million followers on Instagram and 7.08 million followers on YouTube.

“Being real is the key to connecting with people,” said Taneja, adding that the content should be fast-paced, real, crisp, fresh, and should cater to the new as well as the existing viewers. “Time is imperative and one should not waste the audience’s time. So, a fast-paced crisp content works.” For the aspiring YouTubers, he said, “Do what you like and pave a way for new content creation that others can follow. Don’t run after money as it will automatically make its way to you when you are enjoying your creation and you are being real. The audience is very smart, don’t waste your time faking things, and respect their involvement.” Being in the public eye also comes with a lot of pressure, especially when trolls and criticism are a constant part of the profession. He has plans up his sleeves for the year 2022. From travel to TV, a lot is cooking. “With the new variant of COVID-19, I don’t know how things will turn out. Just being hopeful. I want to explore the travel option, expand my team and there are a lot of TV offers coming in,” said Taneja.

PRAJAKTA KOLI

Never Be Sane

Prajakta Koli never thought of becoming a content creator. In fact, when she was growing up, she wanted to be a radio jockey so YouTube wasn’t even on the radar. While growing up, she was sure about the fact that she’s going to become a radio jockey. But as self-realization stuck she knew she wasn’t meant for it. And that’s when she started creating content on YouTube. “Ever since I feel like it’s been the best decision ever because it was something that I wasn’t prepared for. It was something that I went into completely blind and, and I’m so glad that I did what I did,” says Koli. As per her, the decision that she took in the Feb of 2015, has changed her life.

Talking about her connection with the audience, Koli says, “The good thing about the internet is that the audience is extremely honest. They’ll tell you exactly what they like, what they don’t like, what they want to see, what they don’t want to see. And I think if you are engaging with them, if you are talking to them, if you’re listening to them, then, it’s easy to navigate to a point, which is a midpoint between what your audience wants to watch and what you like creating.”

Confessing her moments of doubt, she says, “There’s a strong chance that I don’t know what I’m doing right now. I’m trying to listen to my gut every now and then listen to my team and try not to get monotonous.”

As a creative person, she also started facing creative blocks three, four years ago. She says, “In 2017 I thought that the only way to deal with a block was to shut my channel down and try for a different career path. But eventually, I realized that it’s very normal. One of the things that kind of helped me get through, which I kind of bank on all the time is that I didn’t stop creating content. I think consistency is good. Some creators prefer to take a step back, gather their thoughts and then come back stronger. However, if I do that to my mind I won’t be able to get back in the game.”

One of the biggest steps she took as a content creator was that she put her guard down with heavy planning, and having control over everything and knowing what she’ll be doing today and five years from now. For her some days, are only about editing, shooting, and writing while others are only filled with meetings. With OTT and Bollywood, she’s keeping all the doors open as of now.

MASOOM MINA WALA

The Fashionista

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