The most valuable asset in our world right now – is not gems or gold – it is information. The more genuine and first-hand the information is, the more impact it creates. Internet is definitely the most powerful media, and here if you have information you are the King.
Gagan Choudhary is an internet celebrity with a huge active following of almost 90,000 people – from all around India and also internationally. People flock to his videos, want to talk to him ‘live’ and request to meet him wherever he goes. His videos have got more than 1 crore views!
Gagan lives in Jaipur and from there he makes and posts his videos. He provides advice and consults on technology and travel. What makes him special is his honesty, humility and frankness, and no wonder his followers and subscribers adore him like a star.
Half Samosa is proud to interview traveller, explorer and reviewer Gagan Choudhary on his work and life.
Half Samosa: Tell us how did you get the idea of starting these online reviews on YouTube?
Gagan: I have this tendency of reviewing things from the past few years. But initially I did only smartphone reviews and such. A few years back I was searching the pros and cons of certain cars online. Being an automobile enthusiast I found that almost all the reviews out there are same and no one actually talks about cons and other tiny things of cars and bikes.
I did a full length review of my car and also posted some detailed videos. They received amazing response. So, later I jumped into this.
Half Samosa: Many other people and organizations also carry out such reviews. What makes you different than them?
Gagan: Details and honesty. If you buy a car after watching all the reviews available on Youtube, you will find that I have added many points which were mentioned nowhere else and are true for that particular car.
Half Samosa: You drive cars and bikes for the reviews, research those and record the videos as well. Do you do it all by yourself or do you have a team? How do you manage all this?
Gagan: Fortunately and unfortunately, I am a one-man army. I am fortunate in a way because I do not have much burden of car reviews and bike reviews yet and unfortunate because I know that I will need someone to assist me in the near future.
It is really hard to find a real automobile enthusiast who can work with me and survive on very very limited revenue that YouTube shares.
As of now I manage it. I have ruined my relations with friends and family for this at times but I know this is temporary and I will soon find a better life schedule.
Half Samosa: Were you always interested in cars and bikes since childhood? How did it all start?
Gagan: I grew up in a small town. There were limited cars. But when I shifted to Jaipur 7 years back I was surprised to see the number and types of cars. I remember the old days when I use to memorize names of cars and its trims and later challenge myself to identify cars from a distance. My friends use to call me mad due to such bizarre habit.
Half Samosa: We see you giving very honest and straightforward answers to what cars one should buy. Have you ever felt that the car sales of a particular brand has increased or decreased because of your review?
Gagan: Well I would have made a dent in sales by a few dozen but trust me car business is big. Like very very big! One cannot change a pre-set notion easily here.
But yes, at times I have seen people changing decisions. Although I have successfully shifted many people to different trims of same car but there is no proper counting of that as well.
Half Samosa: Have you been approached by any particular brand to speak for them? Or an instance when a brand has given you negative feedback for pointing any weakness in their car? How do you handle these situations?
Gagan: I have never been approached by any brand yet regarding their car. But I see few brands avoid me to include in their media list. I think that is due to more transparency and honesty that I keep in my reviews.
But I have faced something similar from a dealer. It happened when I uploaded a video of a service center. I was asked to remove it as the service center was not following proper procedures for certain things.
Half Samosa: You meet your subscribers and followers when you go to a city. Please tell us something about this experience.
Gagan: I am very bad in organizing meet-ups. I have done this two times and both the times the place I opted was extremely crowded. It was hard for my subscribers to locate me.
But I have met many and it is really, really fun. They are always curious and keep on talking about cars. I remember I met a subscriber in a park and we talked cars for 2 hours.
Half Samosa: We see often that in your live videos many people ask out of the context questions which can sometimes try your patience. Tell us the secret how you manage to answer every query keeping a smile on your face?
Gagan: When I had close to 30,000 subscribers, I had learned a lot from the live streams at that time. It is really something that you need to care about. Some abuse some criticize, some call you fan boy of particular brand etc. I used to get sad initially but with time I have learned the art to deal with them. Most of the time I skip them.
Half Samosa: We see that with car reviewers you have friendly relationships, instead of the usual competitive rivalry. Sometimes you have shared common videos with them. What is your principle on this?
Gagan: I have always been friendly. I just like to hear everyone’s story. And when I find someone doing something similar to my interest, I quickly try to spend time with that person.
Fortunately I have been getting good and positive responses all this time and all the other YouTubers are friendly as well. Also I am youngest in this automobile related YouTuber’s list. That translates that everyone here is more experienced and I need to learn from them.
Half Samosa: You have more than 80,000 subscribers on YouTube. That’s really great. How are your friends and family feeling about your online success?
Gagan: Thanks. My close friends are limited. Many of my friends still do not know that I have gained 80,000 plus subscribers on Youtube. And my family is completely unaware about this thing. They know that I make videos related to automobiles and post on YouTube. But how good or bad I am doing is something they are yet to see.
Half Samosa: One last question, please tell us a little about yourself.
Gagan: Very less people know about my background. It might surprise a few. I was a medical student earlier. I left that and entered into Arts stream and did graduation with Public Administration, Geography and Economics. Then I worked for Google for 2 years and later for Haptik for 1 and half years.
I kept on switching things. But always did what I liked the most – helping people. I did Automobile Engineering Diploma just to gain a bit of knowledge in the free time I had after quitting all the jobs.
Don’t know what I am chasing but what is important for me as of now is being a better person with each passing day.
Half Samosa: Thank you Gagan. We hope you become among the top reviewers in India and globally. We really appreciate your humility, honestly and down to earth attitude. The sky is truly the limit for you.
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