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BW Businessworld

Prajakta Koli: YouTuber Extraordinaire

With over 4.9 million subscribers on YouTube and over 1.8 million followers on Instagram, Prajakta Koli aka MostlySane is India’s biggest female digital content creator

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In the last few years, Prajakta Koli ecame one of the prominent digital content creators as seen in her rise on YouTube. Simply put, Koli creates comedy skits through slice-of-life situations and characters. Along with light-hearted content, she also tackles social issues plaguing young girls ranging from body image issues to online bullying for which she made a music video titled ‘Shameless’ as part of her campaign #iPledgeToBeMe. She is also an ambassador for YouTube’s global program ‘Creators for Change’. In this interview with BW Businessworld’s Noor Fathima Warsia, Koli shares some of her experiences and her take on the changes in the industry. Excerpts:

The social media space is cluttered and competitive. What are some of the steps you bear in mind to stay relevant and authentic to your viewers, and to your craft?
I feel it is your individuality that helps you carve your niche in a platform that is ever growing with content creators. You cannot put up a pretence and expect people to buy that. The audience today is very smart and can see through you. It is best to project your true personality than present a fake one. I keep a notepad and pen with me, where I keep jotting things I see, and feel, are relatable in every walk of life and make videos on them. I personally believe the only way to cut competition is by having an individual take on content. No two individuals can be the exact same, so there is no competition then. 

But why choose comedy as your genre?
Comedy was the one thing that came to me naturally. At the onset, I knew music, beauty or DIYs (do it yourself) were not my cup of tea. Back in the day, I used to write a blog with funny instances from my life, which I immensely enjoyed. From that perspective, it was my safest bet while choosing a genre. Hence, I thought of giving comedy a shot. However, I have dabbled a little into music with my songs ‘Shameless’ and ‘No Offence’ and I thoroughly loved it. So, maybe I will create more musical content in the coming few months.  

There are several noteworthy developments in your career so far but what are the milestones that stood out for you, and pushed you in the way forward?
I am fortunate to have had many milestones in my career as a YouTuber and each has taught me something new. For instance, the first video that went viral for me was 10 hilarious words that Delhiites use. The negative comments I received on the video taught me not to let detractors bother me with their negativity.

‘Shameless’ was a major milestone because that opened up many conversations for us in our country and internationally. I made it as YouTube’s ‘Creators For Change’ Ambassador where I got to take our project ‘No Offence’ to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The ‘Creators For Change’ programme this year gave me an opportunity to work a little more on girls’ education with Michelle Obama. This is a YouTube original docu-series that releases in March globally. This, I would say, is the latest milestone. I feel so grateful that I get to live these experiences through work.

There is an argument that the term ‘Influencers’ will not exist as the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), newer forms of social players come in play. What is your view on this?
I don’t think AI is going to impact the concept of influencing that much. At the end of the day there is a human touch or the relatability factor that is needed in the entire scheme of things. In fact, in context to the newer platforms coming up, it is a good thing as it gives us more avenues to use to showcase our creativity. 

As the competition and the social media space itself evolves, what are some of the challenges that you see for content creators in the way forward?What are the opportunities that these can create?
I believe the very beauty of the digital platform is its unpredictability. None of us saw the platform reaching these heights. Nobody saw the whole digital explosion happening in the way that it did. There is no way we can map where this is going but hopefully, someplace great. 

Where do we see you going from here?
I have been someone who has always made plans and like to stick to it. But since my Plan A of becoming a RJ didn’t work out. I am taking each day as it comes with YT. And so far, that plan has worked brilliantly for me. Touchwood. 

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