Vishu Kaushal has Come a Reel Long Way
Vishnu Kaushal’s videos are easily relatable. There’s one in which he plays the role of a 13-year-old boy. He’s getting wet in pouring rain, loving how his gelled, spiked style looks even sleeker when he runs his hands through his hair. That innocent vanity is something that kids across the world have felt (we can personally vouch for it ourselves). And that’s the sort of content that’s made the now 24-year-old from Haryana’s Panchkula into the social media star that he is.
But this year marked another landmark for him. Having hit the spotlight making videos on the Internet, he debuted as an actor for OTT series ‘Feels Like Home’ on June 10. With it, his life came full circle in a sense, because before Kaushal had starting creating content, he had auditioned for a Bollywood movie role that he eventually didn’t get. But what that audition did get him was a chance gateway into the world of social media, and he hasn’t looked back ever since.
Looking forward, Kaushal intends to have his fingers in many pies – creating content and acting on screen being two of them. That 13-year-old from Panchkula with spiked hair is still only 24. The world is his oyster, and he’s grabbing the opportunities coming his way.
Ruhee Dosani is Desi to the Core
There’s merit to the old cliché – you can take an Indian out of India, but not India out of an Indian. Take Ruhee Dosani. She grew up in Mumbai, and later shifted base to the U.S. But she never forgot her roots, making desi dance videos for fun along with her videshi friends. The ultimate validation for her was when her elderly relatives back in India told her how much they enjoy her content. Then, during the pandemic in August 2020, Diljit Dosanjh shared one of her videos, and Dosani suddenly found herself in the limelight almost overnight.
Since then, she has embodied the spirit of collaboration, almost wearing it on her sleeve. Dosani has joined forces not just with fellow creators, but also with Bollywood A-listers including Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and Aamir Khan. Her videos focus mainly on older Hindi songs, especially those from the ’90s (which is presumably one reason why her elderly relatives can relate to them), and the choreography is almost always tinged with a sense of humor, which makes Dosani seem like an accessible person. She is currently in Mumbai, but even when the content creator flies back to America, her identity won’t change – that of a self-confessed ‘Punjab di kudi now in foreign.’
Ankush Bahuguna’s Content is a Positive Step Forward
Ankush Bahuguna has carved a niche for himself in a world full of influencers. The 29-year-old actor and content creator from Delhi has risen to prominence, owing mostly to his beauty-focused videos on social media. He is one of the few online male creators who speaks about men using skincare and makeup to help dispel stereotypes and advance the idea of an inclusive society.
Bahuguna, an architecture graduate, took to writing at MensXP where his portrayal of characters like ‘Pankaz’’ went viral. His acting endeavors include roles in the web series Joint Venture and Love on the Rocks, as well as his short film titled Almost. An incredible comic timing triggered his notoriety, cementing him as an internet sensation overnight. Subsequently, millions of users have watched his videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Bahuguna maintains his Instagram page @ankushbahuguna alongside his beauty handle @wingitwithankush, where he films amusing videos about beauty and makeup – an initiative for which he recently bagged the Cosmopolitan India “Beauty Influencer of the Year” award for 2021-22. While there are few other male beauty bloggers who have the talents of fine artists, Bahuguna’s eye for creativity and fun distinguishes him as a not-so-typical digital native in this arena.
Being a Good Human is Important for Anushka Sen
Anushka Sen is an actress, a TV personality, a social media influencer, and a talented content producer. At 19, she has risen substantially, effectively leveraging her following to establish a brand for herself. Her flair and eye-catching posts online give fans engaging content, and as a celebrity influencer, she gives marketers the ideal partner to collaborate with on top-notch campaigns.
Sen rose to prominence after appearing as a child artist in the Zee TV series Yahaan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli in 2009. Her breakout role was as Manikarnika Rao, aka Rani Lakshmi Bai, in the 2019 serial Khoob Ladi Mardaani-Jhansi Ki Rani. Sen’s popularity spiraled considerably as she started making content on digital platforms. Her Instagram page is abuzz with unique self-portraits, travel anecdotes, dance reels, and more. Her YouTube subscribers enjoy her lifestyle vlogs due to her vibrant personality combined with her compelling content – something that has made her a great influencer and a greater success in influencer marketing.
The actor is currently in South Korea, where she is partnering with Asia Lab, a South Korean entertainment brand, on their forthcoming Korean movies and ventures. Sen has been chronicling her adventures throughout Korea ever since, sampling all things Korean and sharing her experiences with her audience. What’s most appealing about this young influencer is that, despite her years in the industry, she remains modest, emphasizing being a good human above everything else – which explains why she keeps drawing in more followers with each post.
‘You’re Never too Small to Dream Big’: Nidhi Nagori
Nidhi Nagori – a video content creator – is professionally a chartered accountant from India and a certified public accountant in the United States. The corporate trainer-cum-finance and career coach hails from a hamlet in West Bengal called Bauria. After completing her education, Nagori traveled to and worked in several countries, which slowed down once the pandemic hit. “Prior to that, my work had me traveling for several weeks a month, so it was a big change,” recounts Nagori, adding, “I had lived in three different countries and worked in many more, often figuring out things from scratch, so I wondered if sharing my experience and perspective might be useful to others.”
It took some trial and error for her to figure out the “right” way to communicate with the audience. Consequently, she decided to stay authentic, emphasizing impact rather than reach alone. Perhaps that is why her Instagram account focuses on education and building careers, and her YouTube channel features what the world of commerce and finance can offer. “When you know you’ve positively affected someone’s life, there’s no rush like that, and while views are just a number, a statistic, the individual DMs I get on how my content helped someone gets me through an otherwise rough day,” remarks Nagori on her social media metrics.
She describes her role as a content creator as “correcting information asymmetries that allow people to reach more of their potential.” Although starting out in the corporate sector, the idea of helping people as a top priority was not natural to her. But her marriage changed that quite a bit: “I saw the impact my husband [who’s a cardiologist] made with his work, and how his prioritizing the well-being of others lent a lot of meaning to his own life.” Thus, while the underlying concept of aiming for impact does not alter for her, Nagori is continuously looking for new ways to achieve it. For instance, she developed her app with courses that can do exactly that. “I always have more ideas than I have the time for, which is a good problem to have!” She concludes, “This entire enterprise has been a two-way street; the more I help, the more I get helped.” The connections she has forged with her audience have preserved her mental well-being, pushed her to realize her potential, and shown her that you’re never too small to dream big.
Isha Borah Makes Dressing up Feel Elegant and Sustainable
Originally hailing from the town of Duliajan in Assam, Isha Borah has spent about the last three years making precise, graceful Instagram Reels about what her favorite fashion is, who wears it, and how its worn.
The video blogger decided to pull herself out of the rigmarole of content-writing for multinational corporations and take on creating videos around 2020, something that she has noted to coincide with the onset of pandemic-ensuing lockdowns. Providing a window to the best way to wear and accessorize one’s wardrobe, Borah’s #OOTD Reels were instant hits, because it paired just the right kind of music with quick, close-up shots of her getting dressed up.
Although her selections of saris have arguably drawn the most attention on Reels, it’s also her distinctive editing style – almost following the calming step-by-step visual language of a cooking recipe – that makes Borah’s video work impeccable.
Saurabh Ghadge is Here to Make You Laugh
Growing up in Mumbai, jokester Saurabh Ghadge had only one aim in life, and that was to make people laugh.
After being told he wasn’t fit to act and his mother giving him 12 months to prove to her that he could be a content creator, Ghadge went full ham producing videos on TikTok and Instagram that resonated with an audience and has gone on to see him gain plenty of recognition and become a household name.
One of his standout pieces is his skit on rich people drinking orange juice in the morning. At the moment, he has 889K followers on Instagram and 568K YouTube subscribers.
Shantanu Rangnekar Wears Many Different Hats
National award winner (for best child actor), theater artist as well as an actor in Marathi feature films and serials – Shantanu Rangnekar has taken Instagram by storm. Rangnekar’s relatable, nostalgic and wholesome content has struck a chord with an audience who views his content not only for its comedic value, but also for its fuzzy feels. A video that went viral was of the artist forcing his friend to refer to Royal Enfield’s Bullet as “Bullet” and not a “bike.” Rangnekar currently boasts 325K followers on Instagram.
Why Diipa Büller-Khosla’s Content is Not Skin-deep
Diipa Büller-Khosla isn’t afraid of taking risks. After quitting law to make a name for herself online in the world of fashion, the 31-year-old has taken on business, motherhood, and global domination without flinching at each new challenge. With sleek shots showcasing everything from haute couture to glamorous makeup, Büller-Khosla built a brand in high fashion through grit and a focus on her Indian roots.
Shots of her seemingly fairytale life on Instagram give us a glimpse of a confident businesswoman who’s just as invested in her family life as she is in making new strides in the world of beauty. As you scroll down her feed, vibrant photos of Büller-Khosla with her daughter and husband make appearances among the many professional shoots, often accompanying her on her travels across the globe (which often include events like the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix premieres and brand launches). She’s the picture of balance, with one memorable image on her feed showcasing her seated on a stool in a yellow organza skirt with a breast pump at her chest. Another more recent clip sees her at the India launch of her beauty brand, clad in custom Indian couture with her daughter in her arms as she celebrates “bringing her brand home.”
A few years after making her mark in fashion, Büller-Khosla chose to go down the entrepreneur route, launching her own beauty brand, Indē Wild, in 2021 which focuses on skincare for desi women. “My mum is a dermatologist and an ayurvedic doctor, which basically means I have been obsessed with skincare and the science behind it since I was a little girl,” she told Vogue India in an interview in 2021. “Instead of constantly promoting other brands, I see the niche missing for a consumer like me, a brown girl making her mark.” With Indē Wild, Büller-Khosla promotes a focus on visibility for desi women in the global beauty and skincare space, as well as products that make it easier to understand your own skin.
Nagma Mirajkar Means Business
Nagma Mirajkar is a dance and beauty influencer who initially rose to fame at the height of TikTok’s popularity in India. After the app’s ban, she moved her content to Instagram, delivering sleek, well-produced dance covers and pioneering trends that flooded across the country – often with fellow influencer Awez Darbar (with whom she shared a ‘are they, aren’t they’ dating dynamic that had audiences across the country hooked for years).
With a master’s degree in commerce and business administration, Gurgaon-born Mirajkar initially worked as a business developer for a hospital in Mumbai, but started a blog titled ‘Oh My Gorg’ to supplement her love for fashion and beauty on the side. She made the switch to Musically (TikTok’s previous avatar) in 2015, and after the sudden viral success of a ‘Don’t Judge Me’ challenge video she’d done, she realized she’d found a new way to express herself. She began filming more challenges, skits, dance videos and fashion-focused clips that presented a desi take on global content. Mirajkar shot to fame over the next couple of years, becoming one of India’s most popular influencers and earning the title of TikTok royalty.
After her massive success on TikTok and Instagram, Mirajkar expanded to YouTube with content that included clips about her life, travel vlogs, dance covers and challenges, gaining an audience of over one million – a dream she’d harbored since her days as a development manager. The 30-year-old also began stepping into acting, often appearing in music videos by major Indian acts like Mika Singh and Asees Kaur.