Today, social media is huge, with anybody who is somebody making their presence felt online. However, there are a few early birds, who are now ahead in the race, having taken the plunge before the rest of the crowd.
Take the example of fitness icon, Sahil Khan, who had gained fame years ago with his physique in the N Chandra super hit film, Style. He has also launched a fitness drink.
“I am India’s first Bollywood star to have my own official YouTube channel, as other B-towners are too big to get on YouTube. There are many YouTubers around, who are also making a splash as well.”
Unlike others, Sahil does not really think too much before posting his videos. “If I work out a special regimen, I post it. Or if I feel the need to give my opinion, I just do. Fitness is more important than money, but unfortunately, you need to have the moolah to keep fit.”
Asked as to what makes him tick, he says,“I guess it is the credibility of Style, which I have nurtured over the past 18 years. My fans have kept in touch; many of them who were kids then, have now grown up.”
Sahil, who is also the brand ambassador of the Indian Bodybuilding Association, added, “When I first beefed up in Style, it was looked down upon. Back then, no girl wanted to pick up weights, preferring to shed kilos instead. Today, many women look much better than men. The new mantra is looking good, feeling good.”
“I have over 2 million Twitter and Facebook followers and my YouTube channel has over 2 hundred and sixty thousand subscribers (just 22 videos). The fact that I have so many followers, without doing any recent Bollywood film or reality show, is an indicator of the power of SM.”
When asked about the new online fad of trying to buy likes, he says, “The most important element of any organic growth would be a certain level of engagement. Just see the number of comments I get. Those in the trade can easily distinguish the real from the fake. I have even got an award from YouTube, and they definitely know the tricks of the trade.”
Looking ahead, Sahil would be open to collaboration with major OTT players.“I have a few fitness concepts in mind. If we both can come on the same page, it would be fun.”
In closing, Sahil admits that his film career did not take-off after Style. “I went aboard, and when I came back, things had changed. The few films I did get, including Alaadin, with Mr Bachchan, and Ramaa: The Saviour, flopped. I guess there are better actors around, than me.”
“But I am glad to have got a second innings, courtesy digital.”