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Actor Varun Sood: My business venture will keep my passion for acting alive As the actor and popular television reality show star Varun Sood starts his own line of merchandise, Varun x Merch, the youngster opens up about why his venture as an entrepreneur will empower him all the more and fuel his passion as an actor.

By Arundhuti Banerjee

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Actor Varun Sood

As the actor and popular television reality show star Varun Sood starts his own line of merchandise, Varun x Merch, the youngster opens up about why his venture as an entrepreneur will empower him all the more and fuel his passion as an actor.

While most Bollywood actors in recent times have taken the risk of starting their own business venture or invested in start-ups after reaching a high point of name, fame, and a fair amount of success, young actor Varun Sood, who soon will be seen alongside Ananya Pandey for a Karan Johar-produced web show, is making a difference with his new venture.

The actor started his merchandise apparel line in collaboration with the platform Merchgarage. It is a platform that allows creators to sell personalized merchandise.

How it started: The clothing line comprises hoodies, t-shirts, and oversize tees with customized quotes that match the sporty and youthful vibe of a youngster. Talking about the core idea, Varun took us back to his childhood and shared, "II think ever since I was a child, I was quite influenced by many sports stars, including the great football player Michael Jordan. Whenever I watched them speaking or wearing something, it inspired me somewhere or another; it was all about what they were saying and practicing in their lives. Those quotes always stayed in my mind. It's my dream that whenever I start my own clothing line or any youth apparel I curate, it has to have a meaning. For us youngsters, T-shirts are very special yet very usable regular wear. It is street style; it's youthful and thoughtful! So when I got the opportunity to launch my clothing line on the platform of merchandise, I thought of starting it this way."

Why to start a business: Being an actor who started his journey with reality TV shows, participated in MTV Roadies X2 and Splitsvilla 9, among others, and appeared in star-studded web series like Karma Calling and films like Ragini MMS Returns, Jug Jugg Jeeyo, and Selfiee, Varun could have just focused on his acting career. However, he explains why starting a small venture like this was important for him.

"I think my business venture will help me keep my passion for acting alive, and I will tell you how. I started my journey as a Roadies contestant, and I was very inspired by Ranvijay Singha, who also has different business ventures. I realized that it is very important for an actor to experience life beyond acting and should have different ventures to keep the mind busy. In the life of an actor, at times, in between the projects, waiting becomes longer, and that makes me feel restless," shared the actor.

He went on to add, "If I have another passion project like this one, I am keeping myself involved in something. At the same time, I also believe that entrepreneurship is very empowering, not just for me but also for the whole team I am working with, because it creates job opportunities. So it is like I am building my tribe with my kind of like-minded people through this. This is so cool!"

"My acting is my passion, so I will keep doing it, but I will choose the best without feeling stressed. My entrepreneurial venture gives me immense satisfaction when I see that this project is providing jobs to others. I feel happy!" expressed Varun.

Initial investment: As the actor has made his product available on the merchandise platform, which is already established with a proper team in place, Varun said that for any budding entrepreneur, working with experienced people who also understand his vision was helpful for him. However, financial investment is surely an important part of the process.

"Initial investment is surely a part of any business, and it looks like a risk we all take, but we have to remember that we are investing in a vision that eventually becomes a profit-making business. I cannot really disclose the exact amount I have invested, but roughly, I should have a budget of Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh to start with," shared Varun.

Celeb status and marketing: With time, Varun has gained a lot of popularity, not only for the shows he has been part of but also on social media. He also has many friends in the industry, and according to him, all these are helping him market his product.

"Being an actor, it is surely my advantage to grab more eyeballs and get the support of friends from the industry who are also content creators. I believe that social media marketing is the best for initial visibility for products like merchandise t-shirts, hoodies, etc. because our TG consumes the IG content the most! But eventually it boils down to word of mouth and the quality of the clothes because not everyone who is consuming our social media content is actively buying our product. But those who are buying and giving testimony are surely helping us to reach more. So, marketing of any new product should be a combination of social media content and word-of-mouth," said Varun, who is gearing up for his next titled Call Me Bae, along with Ananya Pandey, releasing on Amazon Mini.

Arundhuti Banerjee

Content Editor

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