Beer, biceps, and billions: Ranveer Allahbadia's playbook for contentpreneurs
Seven years ago, Ranveer Allahbadia was largely unknown. Today, the 29-year-old boasts more than 4.5 million subscribers across his seven YouTube channels, 2.1 million followers on Instagram, and further 500,000-odd followers on Twitter and Facebook.
All these eyeballs look to Ranveer, popularly known as BeerBiceps, for a wide variety of content, ranging from entrepreneurship and financing to fashion, spirituality, and self-improvement.
In a candid fireside chat with YourStory founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at TechSparks 2022, Ranveer reflected on his evolution as a content creator, while also offering guidance to those looking to follow in his footsteps.
Almost as if to showcase the radical candour he has become synonymous with, Ranveer shared that his journey began with a life-changing experience that he says had a deeply altered his personality.
With a fresh perspective on life, Ranveer began his journey on YouTube in 2015 to document his fitness transformation. Today, BeerBiceps Pvt Ltd, Ranveer's company, creates lifestyle content across the spectrum. “As a content creator, one business is not enough. The business is all about reinvention,” he told the audience.
"Never beg for a seat when you can build your own table"
While content creation is a great stepping stone, a creator essentially needs to simultaneously explore other verticals, says Ranveer. Consequently, he dons many hats.
Beyond being—to borrow a term he uses—a contentpreneur, he is also an investor, motivational speaker, leadership coach, and soon-to-be author.
At 26, Ranveer also co-founded Monk Entertainment, or Monk-E, which offers influencer marketing, social media management, digital advertising, and video production services. Monk-E has worked with a list of marquee clients, including Nykaa Man, Groww, SkillShare, Sony Music, and WOW Skin Science.
He is also the co-founder of the content platform BigBrainCo.
Ranveer's YouTube presence, though, is probably what he is still best known for.
The Ranveer Show Podcast, Ranveer's flagship show, has hosted actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas, musician AR Rahman, former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, and entrepreneurs including Ronnie Screwvala, Nithin Kamath, Kunal Shah, and Ritesh Agarwal.
Addressing aspiring content creators in the audience, Ranveer said creators must strive to create an audience on at least two platforms. And that they must always understand that changes are inevitable when it comes to creating a career on social media platforms and their algorithms.
The key requirements for cracking the content creation game, Ranveer said, are communication skills, writing, storytelling, and a keen understanding of how videos work.
“If a content creator can survive the first five years of their career, they should make it permanent,” he said.
According to the Mumbai-based YouTuber, content is here to stay. But while the glitz and glamour might attract aspiring creators like moths to a flame, there is a trade-off. “With YouTube, you are literally selling your soul. You have to be honest with yourself and your viewers. I genuinely love and enjoy the attention, but the trade-off is public scrutiny.”
It's little wonder then that even as Ranveer continues to push the boundaries of what it means to be a content creator, the importance of mental health is not lost on him. “Content creation is a great opportunity in India, but mental healthwise, it is not sustainable,” he said.
To help deal with the immense pressure and scrutiny that comes with being a social media ‘influencer’ or creator, Ranveer is currently building Level, a meditation app.
The importance of mental health came up even during an earlier session with Ranveer on Day 1 of TechSparks 2022, held on November 10-12.
In a chat with YourStory Senior Anchor Beverly White, Ranveer explained that he was initially driven by materialistic aspects. This, however, has changed with time. He said he now understands that success and happiness are subjective, demonstrating a level of maturity one wouldn't ordinarily attribute to someone often referred to as BeerBiceps.
(With inputs from Anju Narayanan)
Edited by Feroze Jamal