Married couple who became online stars
Abhi and Niyu
HOW THE CONTENT CREATORS FOUND FANTASTIC SUCCESS
by ASJAD NAZIR
WITH over 3.2 million followers across all social media platforms, Abhiraj Rajadhyaksha and Niyati Mavinkurve have become huge stars online and connected with a rapidly growing audience consuming content via the internet.
The married couple, known as Abhi and Niyu, has created popular videos, including the viral 100 Reasons To Love India, which have been viewed many millions of time. The YouTubers and digital content creators produce well-researched videos that are positive, inspiring, informative, idea-generating and provoke debate. Their videos spanning genres such as history, environment, sustainability, social commentary, and economics have enabled them to connect with diverse audiences.
Eastern Eye caught up with Abhi and Niyu to discuss their remarkable success, working together as a husband and wife, future plans and advise for aspiring digital content creators.
What made you both want to start off as digital content creators?
Abhi: While working in the advertising field, I made countless ad films, videos and documentaries putting forward the client’s point of view. After some time, I wanted to put out my own point of view forward but was hesitant about starting something on my own. In October 2017, (content creator) Nas Daily came to India. I travelled with him in Mumbai and Delhi. I kept thinking I wanted to show off India. Meeting Nas helped me realise I should just jump into creating content. So, I started in December 2017 with weekly videos. When Niyu and I got married, I started bringing her into the videos as well.
Did you both imagine being so successful?
Niyu: Getting the numbers we did in the short span seemed surreal. But ‘successful’ is an incomplete word and for me, personally, I think the allure with numbers keeps reducing as we go up one milestone after another. Because both of us have tied down success with how much offline impact we can create in our journey. I think we find more happiness when we see some positive change coming from our work.
Would you give some examples?
Niyu: Whether it is someone who started freelancing after watching our video, or switched to a menstrual cup, or made bio enzyme and ditched phenyl, these small victories feel personal because that person found something valuable in what we were doing and decided to change.
You have had memorable moments like meeting humanitarian Padma Shri Chewang Norphel, travelling across India and making a viral video on an eco-friendly Ganpati, which inspired others to get eco-friendly and paint-free idols. How do you decide what topics to cover?
Abhi: The topic selection is a mix of things. We pick out things we are curious about and use a calendar to pick out birthdays of eminent personalities from our history. We also cover current events. There are always more topics to cover than we can.
What is it like working together as a team?
Abhi: We know we can count on each other. I have always enjoyed working with Niyu. Now we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so that goes a long way when it comes to working together. Ultimately, I am working with my best friend. Niyu: We’ve identified things the other person is good at. I think the best partnerships are those where you work with your best friend and I am very fortunate to do that.
Do you both ever argue when putting together videos?
Niyu: Oh yes, we do have arguments. But we have this principle that we never sleep on an argument and will always resolve it. That means we don’t leave any conflicts unresolved to the next day. Creatively, we try out different variations and see what looks best, sometimes even getting our friends to give us their opinions.
What do you think has been the secret of your success?
Abhi: To be honest, I still don’t think we’re successful. We’ve achieved a lot of growth in the past year, but the best is always yet to come. I think consistency, good scripting and editing has played a big part. Having excellent mentors and friends also helped. Our supportive families make the whole journey so much easier.
How much do the millions of subscribers and followers mean to you both?
Abhi: You know, sometimes it feels unbelievable that we have a huge audience. But we’ve not linked our success to the number of followers and subscribers. So, we value each and every one of them who choose to engage with us. The feeling that we’re reaching out to people beyond our content is surreal and heartening.
Does having so many followers put pressure on you?
Niyu: There’s always pressure to make sure we’re providing value to our followers. With a higher number, it makes us even more responsible to make sure we don’t encourage irresponsible behaviour or spread the wrong message. We take our audience very seriously.
What advice would you give those wanting to start a content creation journey?
Niyu: The journey of content creation is not easy. It takes time and effort, so get into it if you want to do this for the long haul. Don’t get enticed by the number of followers, or the glamour. Creating content is difficult, so be ready to put in the hard work without seeing the results instantly. And stop looking for tips or tricks from other creators. You will learn so much from doing things yourself and become better. Invest time in learning the craft and get your hands dirty. Remember, each platform works differently. There’s a lot of information available online waiting for you to discover it.
What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
Niyu: We like watching content that is completely different from what we make because it gives us a break mentally. We watch movies, gaming videos, space and nature related documentaries. We also watch content from our fellow content creators.
What is the biggest thing you have learned about yourself with your content creation journey?
Niyu: That I am capable of handling things. I’ve always grown up with a low self-esteem, so finding that I can contribute to this venture and manage platforms feels very empowering. I’ve learned to trust myself, which is a very big deal in itself.
What are your future plans?
Abhi: We have lots of different plans to work on newer videos, newer series, possibly expand on more platforms. We are going to launch a course soon and are thinking about a podcast as well. We’re also working on a business idea, so there’s a lot of things to watch out for.
What inspires you?
Abhi: Positive changemakers and their stories inspire me. I have grown up close to nature, so that inspires me.
Niyu: Travel and nature inspire me. People who work hard to make a difference inspire me. I can see the impact a good deed does, so every good deed inspires me somewhere.
Why do you think we should all tune into your social media platforms?
Niyu: You should tune in to get a perspective. We work very hard at research and joining the dots, so you get a broad understanding of the topic in a short span of time through our videos. If you’re someone who believes in doing good, then join us along with our #yesteam because our social media channels are a group of people who want to bring about a positive change in the world.
Visit Instagram & Twitter: @abhiandniyu and YouTube: Abhi and Niyu