Looking forward to expanding the categories of content available on his page, Ayush Chudiwala is planning to focus on baking next.
Ayush Chudiwala named his page Hungerpangs Mumbai as his content mostly revolves around the experiences in the city and it best describes his feelings towards food. If not an influencer, he would have probably pursued a career as a brand manager of an entrepreneur. He tells us more about being a content creator and his journey so far.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I have always been fond of trying new cuisines and restaurants. I still remember, I was a degree college student back then, who would get a fixed amount as my pocket money, and I had to make sure that all my expenses could fit in that budget. I would save money so that I could try new restaurants that were opening in the city. My friends and family called me every two days asking for restaurant recommendations and that’s exactly when I decided to start hungerpangs_mumbai (October 2015), a page where I could share my experiences and recommendations.
In about 6 months, the page got a good number of viewers and that’s when brands started approaching me to visit their restaurants and share my experience with my audience. Eventually, I also started reviewing Products, Luxury Properties and Gadgets.
What's in the name?
Hunger pangs mean a sudden strong feeling of hunger and desire to eat, and that best described my situation every time I see good food. I added Mumbai to it since I reside in the city and around 80% of my feed is on restaurants/experiences in Mumbai.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I am very particular about my content. In the space of social media, where street food is dished out in every other post, I chose to cover premium restaurants. The idea behind this was that a person who is planning to spend a good amount of money on a meal would definitely want an experience worth the amount. If the experience isn’t up to the mark, it would definitely pinch them. Here’s when they can check my page out and read more about my experience at that restaurant and decide accordingly.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
Most of the pictures that you see on my page are clicked on my phone. I’m not one to over-edit images and stick with basic editing on Lightroom to adjust the brightness and sharpness. The magical combination of good plating and lighting definitely makes the process easy for me.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
Money has never been a priority, but it’s a by-product of what I do. I blog because I am passionate about food and that will always be my priority. I never pick work based on the money I am offered.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
While there are brands who want the execution of a campaign to be as per the guidelines mentioned in the brief, most of the brands have started to understand the importance of influencers adding a personal touch to the brief provided. This is because they do realize that the audience is accustomed to seeing consistency in what the bloggers they follow put out. If I get a pitch that doesn’t go well with what I believe in, I skip that collaboration.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile.
It would be unfair to name one because honestly there have been many such instances. The kind of love and support that I get from my audience, people sending in recommendations when I travel to their city or brands extending invitations, it definitely means that I am doing something right and that makes it worthwhile for me.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever.
There was an agency that approached me to give their client (restaurant) a 5/5 rating on Zomato against a meal for 2. I immediately refused the collaboration saying I was not in favour of such unethical practice. They wrote back to me saying “But we are ready to offer you a free meal against it”. I immediately blacklisted that agency.
When it comes to brands, I filter briefs keeping in mind the campaigns that would work on my page and be in line with the purpose of what I do.
If not blogging, you would be?
I would either be a Brand Manager or an Entrepreneur.
A day in your life...
I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business Administration, and hence I end up spending most of my day attending college lectures. Post-college hours, I try and visit new restaurants around the city and write about my experiences on my blog. (Keeping the current situation of pandemic aside.)
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Follow your passion and be consistent because good things take time. The trends on the internet keep changing, and hence it is very important for one to keep up. Give credit wherever due.
Your Favorite Influencer
Deeba Rajpal, Igor Rocha, Lotfi, Baketitue and Shivesh Bhatia. I absolutely love the recipes they create and of course the incredible food styling.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I am currently working on growing my team so that I can create content in different categories. I am also fond of baking so that definitely is the next thing viewers will get to see on my page.