Welcome to PASSIONBRIEF – the series about professionals who are balancing their work life with keeping a hobby or a passion alive. As one such soul told us, “it keeps your sanity and detoxifies you from the effects of unimaginably stretched work hours as you work from home.” Well, there are definitely many more advantages and benefits also including but not limited to additional income, but that’s a piece for another day, with another focus.
To start our series, we’ve picked Sugandha Mathur’s food channel on YouTube, Out of Passion. Sugandha was an Assistant Professor at Symbiosis (UG) College in Pune, and had also taken up a corporate job, but six years and after the arrival of bissful motherhood, she decided to follow her heart and do something she’s always been inspired on by both, her mother and chef Ranveer Brar – cooking.
She began Out of Passion as a small catering business from her home kitchen. With the support of her husband Nikhi, who is her “biggest support” in every way.
But, as she tells us, “there was still something missing.” She wanted to take her culinary expertise and recipes to a larger audience, and thus has launched her Youtube Channel and Instagram handle to share her recipes.
So, for our first story on PassionBrief, we caught up with Sugandha about Out Of Passion. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
From first thought to execution of the first episode, how long did your YouTube channel Out of Passion take?
My husband Nikhil suggested it a year back, but I politely ignored it. During the lockdown, wherein people were compelled to cook themselves to feed their bodies and souls, I think everyone started their culinary journey. They headed to the internet to find those perfect and easy-to-go recipes, and that’s when I decided to utilize this opportunity and start my channel Out Of Passion. So it took me almost a year to convene this thought and make it a reality.
Where do you shoot and produce this? What kind of camera setup do you have?
Out of Passion is a fairly new channel. Every stage of producing a recipe video, starting from conceptualization, production, and editing, are in-house. I work on the recipe and script of the episode and Nikhil shoots and edits the video. They are mostly shot in my kitchen or living room, with a very humble mobile camera and some basic accessories.
How have your viewers responded to your channel?
Food is something that will always have a market for itself. If you know your recipe and technique well, people will definitely come back to you for more.
Considering the age and organic growth of my channel, I guess the response is fairly good. It is highly motivating and encouraging to receive positive and encouraging comments on my videos and recipes. I feel delighted when people inbox me the pictures of the dishes they made following my recipes.
How long does one episode take?
Since the entire process of producing an episode is in house, each episode takes about 3-4 days. I, shortlist the recipe and then figure out the history and story behind it. I believe if you know the story behind each recipe, it becomes more enticing to cook and hence I try to weave a factual story around each dish. Time taken to shoot the video varies from recipe to recipe, and it’s the same with the editing.
This seems to be a labour of love. How are you marketing this right now?
We are going the organic way, as of now. Word of mouth, postings on social media platforms, cross-linking, is what is playing as my marketing tool. I am taking small steps, but I firmly believe in my capabilities to grow and reach a greater mass.
And how do you plan to grow further and hopefully monetize Out of Passion?
My idea of growth is to take Out of Passion to a larger set of audiences, enabling them to cook healthy and hearty meals in the comfort and safety of their homes. Once I have a satisfying number of recipes on my channel, I will have to promote it through various paid vehicles as it would be challenging to achieve this organically.
When it comes to monetizing, it will work as per YouTube dynamics. Additionally, product integration will play an important role in garnering revenues. I have been fortunate enough to have done my first product integration in my last few videos — it’s an oil brand, named – Best Drop Lite Oil. There are a few more in the pipeline.
That’s wonderful news. Any advice for others who want to start a food or any other channel of their own?
I don’t think I’ve reached a level suitable enough to advise potential culinary YouTubers. Once a considerable number of people start following Out Of Passion and I secure a place for myself in the gastronomic digital space, I would be glad to share my mantras, tips, and tricks for everyone’s benefit – Knowledge shared is knowledge squared.
And lastly, as I always say “Swaad Masalon May Nahi, Swaad hota hai Hathon May” (The taste of the dish is not in its ingredients, it’s in the hand of the person making it).