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‘Earning fame and money’: Meet the YouTubers who made lockdown ‘work’ for them

Melbourne-based Inder and Kirat routinely share videos on TikTok and Youtube. Source: Supplied

A Melbourne-based Indian couple has gained new-found popularity on social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube after lockdown forced them to stay home. Check out what makes these vloggers so popular in the Indian community, as well as the global Punjabi diaspora.

Within two months, Inder Sarao and Gurkirat Randhawa [Sarao] have attracted around 120,000 subscribers on YouTube with lifestyle videos produced at home during COVID lockdown.

So far, they have amassed over 13 million views on their YouTube channel ‘Inder & Kirat’ and nearly 22 million impressions on TikTok through their individual channels @indersarao and @gurkiratrandhawa. 


Highlights

  • Indian couple based in Melbourne has become famous on TikTok and YouTube
  • Inder and Kirat began posting Bollywood-inspired videos while in lockdown 
  • The couple started their migration journey as international students
  • They aim to keep promoting positivity through their videos

The Indian couple who first came to Australia as international students lives in Melbourne’s north.

Inder and Kirat were excited to receive a silver badge from YouTube after they had 100,000 subscribers.
Inder and Kirat were excited to receive a silver badge from YouTube after they had 100,000 subscribers.
Supplied

They first started sharing their videos on YouTube after TikTok was banned in India in July 2020.

“We used to post our lifestyle videos on TikTok in the first few months of lockdown. It was a big setback for us when India banned this application due to its Chinese connections,” said Mr Sarao.

Not only this, Mr Sarao also had another thing to worry about, and that was his struggle to find work due to Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions.

I tried my luck both with taxi and Uber, but it turned out to be a big challenge.

Now it is getting to a stage where it is difficult to sustain in this unforgiving and tough environment,” he said.

For Mrs Sarao, who is an administrative staff member at a local college, working from home brought new opportunities.

“I quickly adapted to this new workstyle of working from home. Not only did it help me save on traveling time, but it also gave me an opportunity to focus on YouTube as an additional source of income,” she said. 

Inder and Kirat became popular among the Indian diaspora after they started sharing videos on TikTok and Youtube.
Inder and Kirat became popular among the Indian diaspora after they started sharing videos on TikTok and Youtube.
Supplied

Stuck at home during lockdown, they decided to utilise their additional time to create videos for YouTube.  

The couple upload videos that not only offer a glimpse into their daily life but also explore the important aspects of their migration journey that started in 2014 from India’s northern state of Punjab.

Like other international students, we also faced many challenges and job-related issues.

“We often discuss these issues in our videos. We are still in an early phase of our migration journey and we know it takes a lot of time and hard work to settle in Australia,” said Mrs Sarao.

The couple celebrated with their friends after they got 100K subscribers on YouTube.
The couple celebrated with their friends after they got 100K subscribers on YouTube.
Supplied

After their YouTube channel hit 100,000 subscribers, they started to take this career more seriously.

“Earlier, we were in it for light entertainment and yes, we were aiming for fame. But now we’ve reached a stage where we are using it for making money as well,” he said.

The couple said their ‘digital life’ became a lot easier after they purchased a high definition camera from their first earnings from YouTube.

“It needs a lot of effort to produce a high-quality video. But now we are getting there where we feel rewarded for this work and effort,” said Mrs Sarao. 

Inder and Kirat came to Australia in 2014 (L) as international students.
Inder and Kirat came to Australia in 2014 (L) as international students.
Supplied

The couple often presents content on themes like lifestyle, relationship goals, cooking, beauty and fashion, international students and migration issues, and much more.

And yes, people do ask them if they get paid for their work as vloggers.

“We are glad to announce that is happening now as we continue to engage with our audience more closely, making them see our video content,” said Mr Sarao.

For earning money, they had to apply for YouTube’s monetization partner program.

“Explaining this process is a little complex, but basically, the amount one earns from the videos depends on the number of advertisements consumed while they’re playing,” he said. 

The couple hails from the Patiala district of Punjab, India.
The couple hails from the Patiala district of Punjab, India.
Supplied

Mrs Sarao said they didn’t get instant success; instead, it was a gradual process of gaining recognition on YouTube.

“It is picking up slowly and steadily. We are trying to understand what our audience needs,” she added.

“We feel there is so much negativity in people’s lives these days. All we need to do is to help it convert to love, support, and admiration.”

Click on the player above to listen to an interview with Inder and Kirat.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am.

The only reasons for Melbourne residents to leave home during these hours are for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative.  

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. The full list of restrictions can be found here.  

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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