Shahnawaz Karim on the making of Wheelsguru

Living a dual life with a full-time job and passion for professional racing, Shahnawaz spends a chunk of his day building Wheelsguru.

Dividing his day between his job, spending time with his daughter and building Wheelsguru, Shahnawaz is striving to make a portal that helps upcoming racers. He trains and creates content every day. Believing you can’t make everyone happy, he works with selective brands only — one that fits with his ethics of content creation. Here’s more.

Looking back, where did it all begin? 

I started motorcycle racing from the time when I was in college. I had put together all of the learnings on the race track on my website. Around 10-15 years ago, when I was new to it and wanted to understand racing, I did my research but couldn’t find anything. So, I started documenting my learnings and experiences. With this, I got to support others who wanted to move into professional racing. That’s how I wanted to contribute to the industry — by disseminating information.

Now, I am a professional trainer and I make people understand the right way to get the most out of their motorcycles for enduro riding as well as circuit racing.

What’s in the name? 

When I started Wheelsguru in 2007, it was just my compilations. However, I myself wanted to learn and disseminate the learnings to everyone who wants to be a better rider. The term ‘Guru’ is for someone who knows certain things, has the right knowledge and can impart the same to others. Since all my training is around 2 & 4 wheels, the name Wheelsguru became a perfect fit.

What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?

The USP is that I don’t do launches, reviews or pushing of one product over other. It’s pure-play content that every reader can understand and it’s in simple English. 

The beauty is that I still believe in written content that travels much faster and has a much better shelf life.

Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?

Content creation is fairly simple. I reach out to brands (or vice versa) and we work on the offline part of the plan. Then, I do the training or visit the location according to the feasibility. I work with some independent content writers as well. They help give the content a local touch. This way, I have worked with some of the best automotive photographers and videographers to get the most of the pictures and videos.

How do you make moolah with your efforts?

I have a day job as General Manager Marketing at Spectra, which keeps my family happy while for everything motorcycles – Wheelsguru gives me enough avenue to top it up. Along with that, I have invented a Motorcycle Jacket that can convert into a backpack.

How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?

Editorial objectivity is maintained by being upfront with the brand. Some like it, while others don’t and that’s a part of the business. You can’t keep everyone happy.

One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile

My persistence and perseverance in motorcycle riding training, selection by BMW Motorrad and getting certified from International Instructor’s Academy (IIA). Once the certification was done, I came to know that I am the youngest International Instructor and the first from India from the inception of IIA.

Also Read: A lot of brands mistake influencer marketing for advertising: Kritika Goel

Weirdest brand brief/request ever

Pushing me and following up for work without budget even after saying that quality work doesn’t come for free.

If not blogging, you would be?

Training, riding motorcycles, practicing and spending time with family. 

A day in your life…

I live a dual life. On weekdays, I get up at 5 and check social media. Then, I go for a Yoga session and come back to breakfast. After spending some time with my daughter, I leave for the office by 8:30. Around 1 pm, I have lunch. I usually wrap up my work by 6:30 pm. After dinner and spending some time with my daughter, I sit for scheduling content on Wheelsguru’s social media by 10 pm. On Weekends, I wake up at 6 to go for a ride and train. By 12:30, I reach home and sit for Wheelsguru’s work. At 1:30, I have lunch and then I spend the rest of the day with my family, only to return to Wheelsguru work after 10.

Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

Work for excellence and not followers or recognition

Your Favorite Influencer

I don’t follow that many people however I like the work done By Steve Kamarad, NAS daily, Vir Nakai, and few more.

The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

The future is here. I am developing myself as a rider, developing Wheelsguru as a better platform and then developing Ulkagear as a holistic motorcycle apparel/protective clothing brand