#KetchupTalks: Kukkad munda, Harsh Gandhi discusses social media and ‘School Friends’

Smrithi Mohan
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Harsh Gandhi

From doing everything on his own to playing a scripted character reliving his school days, Harsh Gandhi had a lot to share. 

Creators have managed to build their own little place in entertainment with every story they have to share. Their efforts have been recognized not just by the followers and engagement on their pages but also by getting to play a character on a bigger screen. The latest creator to join, acting like many before him, is Harsh Gandhi, a fitness and skincare influencer.

Harsh Gandhi is familiar among the online community for his expertise in fitness and skincare. He is also often seen sharing his own experience of leading a healthy life or encouraging men to take care of their skin without being shy about it. With over 101K, Harsh has already made a significant mark in the community, with people willing to listen to his opinions and tips. Even though he is enjoying the love that he has been receiving online, he has transitioned into a new world by marking his acting debut on the web series "School Friends." The series, directed by Sahil Verma, revolves around the complexities of middle school friendships. Harsh plays  ‘Gaurav’, a new entrant to the series, the son of the school's principal and a quintessential bad-boy character. A digital creator who is known for sharing his tips on fitness and skincare, Harsh Gandhi talks to us about his debut in "School Friends”

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Take a look at what he had to share:

People don't mind it when guys make content around fitness, but skincare is still a taboo. When did you decide on sharing content on skincare and what has the response been like?

In my employment days, I was always working in the men’s grooming department, so I had some experience with it, but the content available was very little. At that point, I decided that I’d take a break from working and give content creation a shot and touch; everything did work! I would say that now men are a little more open to skincare than they were before; hopefully, we just progress in terms of acceptance!

What is the thing about social media that keeps drawing audiences to it?

For me, it’s convenient to talk to my friends and keep up with their lives via their posts & stories, but a while back, it was just the dopamine rush that everyone got from scrolling through everyone’s reels!

You recently made your acting debut with the web series "School Friends." Congratulations on that. Can you talk about the series and your part in it?

Thank you so much for it! The series revolves around a group of ‘School Friends’ and their journey through different situations and emotions like developing crushes, heartbreaks, school mischief, jealousy, and so much more! I come in as a sort of a ‘bad guy’ who thinks that he’s the best, with an added medal of being the principal’s son. The character ‘Gaurav’ deals with some tiffs with the friend group and how he gets involved with them! It’s truly a fun watch for everyone who is in school experiencing it and also a nostalgic moment for people who have lived through that!

What was it like to be directed for content as opposed to creating your own content online?

It felt great because here, the risks are higher than what I do for my content, so rather than being the jack of all, I just had to focus on 1 task and one task only, which was to bring the scripted character to life and adapt his behavior and attitude. It was definitely challenging in its own way, and it felt great when I saw how it turned out. You should watch it too.

Do you plan on venturing more into acting? If yes, do you have a preference for the kind of platform you'd like to work on?

I do plan on venturing more into this! The feeling of being in front of the camera playing a role and bringing a character to life was super special to me, and I can’t wait to do it more often! Since it’s still the start, I don’t want to limit myself to the roles, but I guess a ‘Netflix original’ is definitely on my list, and I’m manifesting it now!

You have been part of content creation for a long time now. Do you think every new regulation that is introduced to monitor content online is helping the growth of the content industry? How?

I think most of the regulations put on are for the safety and privacy of the users, which should be done because it is very important and community guidelines are set precisely for that, but some of the new features, like notes on IG were just too much over the top, it felt unnecessary or even removing the dislike button on YT reduced a huge insight point for the creators.

Apart from your regular content, you also have a series on YouTube. Can you tell us a bit about it?

YES! “On Road with Harsh’ started as a passion project to drive around in the streets of Bombay which I love so much and just talk to like-minded people and give the audience an insight into their lives apart from what they share on their social media! It is a no-filter conversation with the guests ranging from their relationships to the inception of their careers to talking about recent topics relating to the Creator economy!

How are long-forms different from your videos on Instagram and what does your planning for both look like?

The long-format videos show my raw side when I’m put in different situations and circumstances when it comes to my vlogs and the Podcast series! I feel it is more authentic as I can share my views freely with my audience and connect with them on different topics rather than on Instagram reels where I pick out a value-addition topic and give them tips on how to go about their grooming and fashion!

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