How far can you go with YouTube — A Delhi college boy reached Davos in 5 years

  • Bhuvan just became the first Youtube sensation to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos.
  • At the meet, he will attend conferences and will also be vlogging his experience to educate his audience on the discussion of a cohesive and sustainable world.
  • Bhuvan is as famous as any other Bollywood celebrity in India.

In 2015, a 21 year old realized that very few people were making YouTube videos in Hindi. That was how India’s first youtube star, Bhuvan Bam, was born and so did his channel “BB Ki Vines”.

Back then, India had few homegrown comedians. The Viral Fever and All India Bakchod were creating content, but in English.

“I thought I should bring some kind of humour. I’ve grown up watching Kader Khan, Johnny Lever, Govinda kind of movies, David Dhawan movies, ’90s and early 2000s movies. And that was a good change for people. The language barrier was at a breaking point,” Bhuvan told Quartz.

Five years on, Bam has a wide fan base and his videos received a billion views. He is now as famous as any other Bollywood celebrity in India — and celebrities like Karan Johar are in awe of him as well.

He will now go where no one expected this expletive spewing YouTuber will go --- to the World Economic Forum. There he will rub shoulders with top Indian and international CEOs. However, he has a story to tell on how he captured the pulse of young Indians.

He is also a part of a discussion on a cohesive and sustainable world. And is also likely to attend a dinner hosted by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who is inviting creators from around the world. Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone will also be attending the event to speak about stigma around mental illnesses.
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​Just an ordinary boy from Delhi

​Just an ordinary boy from Delhi

In 2015, Bhuvan was yet another college boy who used to sing at a restaurant for ₹3,000 a night. The natural performer also believed he could tell funny stories though nobody in his family would laugh at them. One day, he decided to post a 15 second video — that mocked the media for their insensitive question in Kashmir floods — on his Facebook page.

“A reporter was asking this lady ‘How do you feel, (now) that you’ve lost your son?’ It was a silly question. I couldn’t control myself. I had to make a satire of it,” says Bam.

He decided to post some more.

​Fans from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh

​Fans from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh

Success did not come instantly. The first few videos received a mere 15 views. Gradually, that 15 turned to 300 and he shot to fame in his college and others. To his surprise, he built a fanbase in Karachi University. But India was still unaware of him.

“India took a lot of time to warm up to my videos!”

He moved from Facebook to Youtube after a friend suggested monetising what he was doing.

​The Dharma Productions of Youtube

​The Dharma Productions of Youtube

Bam managed to get the attention of people after his video “Valentine’s Week Hutiyapa” went viral in 2016. He even got a million subscribers to his Youtube channel in 7 months. Since then, Bam experimented a lot - right from dancing to singing. He also co-produced a movie Plus minus.

Soon, he became an influencer and endorsed as many as 30 brands until April 2019. He is now the face of Lenskart. His success lies in his no-cost production strategy. He created 16 characters and acted for all of them. He shoots his videos himself, edits and posts them himself.

“I don’t spend a single penny on them. I take 15 to 16 days to come up with a video and do one or two videos a month. That’s a long time. People who have big production houses need to hire people, pay vendors etc,” he told Quartz.

At first Bam wanted to be a part of Bollywood but he now believes Youtube is bigger. “I want to be the Dharma productions of YouTube. Also, I want to develop the BB universe, complete with the origin story of all the characters, like Marvel comics and DC world.”

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