Amit Kumarr talks to us about quitting his job for a career in digital, Readers Book Club and more!
Amit Kumarr began his professional career in the corporate world. After completing an MBA in marketing, he focused his attention on the burgeoning IT industry. Over the course of 15 years in a number of IT-SAP roles, he rose through the ranks to become the IT head of Bacardi India. Having achieved professional success, he moved on to a training program in Sales, Leadership, Law of attraction, and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). This urge to better himself and create something entirely of his own ultimately drove him to embrace a new career path as a Youtuber.
While he was living a successful life, it was the book The Magic of Thinking Big, written by David J Schwartz, that changed Amit’s thought process and helped him understand how he was missing out on some fascinating and essential stuff. The initial thought was to create videos and share them with friends. While Amit broke down the key messages of each book he read, his wife, an animator, would edit the videos. As YouTube was the best platform to post and share videos with friends, he started a channel on the platform, giving birth to the Readers Book Club.
After receiving positive responses, Amit was determined to offer a straightforward solution to people who didn’t have the time, patience or inclination to read books. He went on to launch the Readers Book Club on YouTube and Instagram. The success of his first channel quickly led to the creation of another channel, called- Amit Kumarr Live. Using the experience he gained from reading books, Amit used his second platform to directly interact with and guide people through his learnings.
The coming years saw his community rapidly grow from 1300 subscribers in the first year to a million in year three. After three and a half years, Amit has a combined subscriber base of 1.5 million across his two channels.
Here's what Amit had to share:
What motivated you to quit your job and join the digital space?
The journey from corporate to the digital space wasn't an impulsive one. I was a below-average student in school, born into a middle-class family whose parents were running a loss-making garment business. However, as soon as I moved into corporate, things started moving well for me. I did my MBA in Marketing but then realised that Marketing is challenging and I won't be able to do it. So I moved into IT-SAP consulting with Bacardi India being my last corporate role. Although I was doing reasonably well, something was missing. I always wanted to move to the next level and had an urge to do something better, which gave me inner satisfaction. That's when I got into corporate training. I began training in Sales and Leadership, eventually moving towards Law of Attraction and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). When I saw that things were going fine, I decided to start something on my own, and that's where the idea to create a YouTube channel was seeded. In 2019, after 15 years in Corporate and along with Corporate Training, I started the YouTube channel Readers Book Club. Once the channel started getting good traction and money, I quit and pursued my career as a creator full-time.
What about YouTube has people hooked to your channel?
The primary reason people are hooked to our channel is because of the quality of our content. From the very beginning, at the start of all our videos, we tell our viewers that although the video might be long, we promise to give them the best content because we never compromise on the quality of our content. As per YouTube algorithms, 10-minute videos are perfect for getting millions of views. However, we have never chased numbers. So while other channels might comprise a 300 to 400-page book into a 10-minute video, some of our videos are 50 minutes long, and surprisingly they are the ones that have garnered millions of views. Focusing on quality content has worked for us and has been our greatest strength. This is the reason viewers have stuck with us and returned for more.
Do you think teaching has changed with people choosing digital platforms to solve problems?
Digital has become a platform that entertains people and is also a source that gives solutions to people's problems. Digital platforms have definitely changed the way we are taught and the medium in which we are taught. Earlier it was difficult for people and students to reach the right coach, teacher or institute due to cost, availability and reachability. Today, due to the digital platform, they can learn from these coaches and personally take classes and tuition from them. Another benefit of the digital platform is the minimum time taken to find a resolution to all our queries. Today we have better and faster opportunities to learn and access many channels that can help us with our doubts. Everything is literally at the tip of our fingers!
Are there people you follow on YT that help you find a solution to your problem?
I believe no matter what stage of life you are in, everybody must have a source from which they can learn. For me, there are about 3-4 such sources that I know from, and I diligently watch their videos every day. For example, when I first began my channel, I used to follow Nick Nimmin to learn about YouTube growth. I have even attended his life sessions, some of which were 4 hours long. Currently, I follow Gaur Gopal Das Ji, Sadhguru Ji and Swami Mukundananda for spiritual growth and life lessons. I have learnt a lot from them.
Can you talk about how Readers Book Club happened?
I was never into reading books. My seniors at work were avid readers who insisted I start reading too, but I never took heed. When I did start reading, it took me a long time to finish one book. The first book I read was - The Magic Of Thinking Big, which I had purchased from a roadside seller. That book changed my thinking process and made me realise there was so much I was missing out on. It made me wonder if I took so long to pick the book and read it, how long might it take other people to do the same? Why not find a solution for it? From there, the thought of video creation came into the picture. The initial idea was to make videos for friends and family. We started with YouTube because it is the most accessible and best video-sharing platform we have. Then, with my wife being an animator, we began shooting and editing at home. That's how Readers Book Club was born. In our first year, we had 1300 subscribers, and today, after 3.5 years, we are a family of 1.5 million subscribers.
However, YouTube being a one-way platform, I couldn't interact with my community or meet them. As a community-first platform, Habitat allowed me to create a positive community where I could be my brand and simultaneously help my audience. For me, joining Habitat as a creator has been a revolutionary step. It has changed my channel's trajectory and allowed me to monetise my content better than I did on YouTube and Instagram. Since three months of joining Habitat, I've made more money, grown my paid follower base and made ~60,000 Rs per month extra, increasing by ~30% month on month.
Do you have a list of favourite books you have come across because of Readers Book Club?
I have read nearly 300 books, so it's hard to list my favorites. However, some books I would highly recommend people to read are The Magic of Thinking Big, Limitless, Secret of Millenial Mind, Power of Subconscious Mind, Minimalism, Do It Today, Win Your Inner Battles, The Secret and The Magic.
What is your preferred genre of books to read?
I enjoy reading books that add value to one's life, which falls under the self-help genre. I also read many books on spirituality, like the Bhagavad Geeta, that has helped me see life from a different angle. You could say I read books that help me evolve in life and ultimately become a better person.
What is your aim for Readers Book Club?
The initial aim of the Readers Book Club was to provide people who aren't readers or took a lot of time to read a book with a simple solution to gain knowledge. Today we aim to make the best and the most amount of content so that people receive genuine book reviews for free. What has remained constant in these 3.5 years is the aim to help people add value to their lives through books. We don't work according to trends, so we don't get very viral. Although the topics we cover are for the masses, we cater to a very niche section that sets us apart from the rest. However, our biggest reward is the testimony and feedback of people whose lives have been changed through the Readers Book Club.
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