All we need is a determination to follow our hearts against all the odds. Meet Arjun Pandey, a fashion model, and an engineer following his passion and love for fashion modeling with consistency. Arjun faced his own set of struggles in the industry. Hailing from a small town in Jharkhand, he aspires to achieve milestones in his career.
Arjun started modeling four years back. He has struggled with a lot of ups and downs in his career but never lost hope. He pursues his passion for modeling side by side his job to secure himself. When asked how he started modeling, Arjun says,
“I was just doing modeling as a passion but later, I realised that I do not have much money to support my self in the long run. So, I left modeling and joined a 9 to 5 job in Accenture. While I was working in Accenture I started hating myself because I was not loving what I was doing. Then I left my job and switched to another company, GEP to see if another kind of job interest me. I realised that my company has given me so much of freedom to work from home. That is why I started utilising those times in auditions and casting. After doing many runways, catalogue shoot, and print shoots I understood how to keep up the work and modelling profession together and move ahead in life.”
Arjun has quite a lot of experience now on how the industry works. He has worked with many renowned designers and brands. Arjun has done shoots for designers like Nivedita Shboo, Vikram Francisco, Rohit Verma, Jyotimomi, Nick Roshan, Annesdeen Label, Ajmal Kha, Saybasachi Couture, and many more. He walked the ramp of Pune Fashion Week, Indian fashion week, Lakme fashion week, international glam fashion week, India expo fashion week Pune, International runway week, Leather Fashion Show Chennai, and the list is long.
Arjun took his responsibilities on his own and never bothered his parents to support his dreams. His parents have stood by him throughout. Talking about his struggles Arjun told that he had struggled for two years continuously. Growing up in different states and then studying in south India, Arjun’s Hindi was not up to the mark due to which he often faced rejection.
“I told my parents I got a job in Mumbai which was not true and I struggled for two consecutive years. Later, my parents saw my picture as my neighbours told them. I have faced lot of rejections coming from a small town due to my language. You can be a print model, runaway model but every model wants to face camera and wants to do TVCs. I never wanted to become an actor but an artist and pursue modeling as a profession.
I gave different auditions and got rejected. At that point I was staying in Navi Mumbai in a room with 12 other people as I did not have savings at all. I used to travel to different place just to give auditions. But that was a phase, rejections maybe were more stronger I would say as I was failing. I knew this will happen. It has helped me a lot. There are both good and and bad people in the industry.”
Arjun also did theatre to improve his language and skills. His main motive was to get into TVCs, he never aimed towards getting into acting. Therefore, he improved a lot and did TVCs for brands. Now, Arjun is all set to join a Canadian modeling agency named Soli Talent Agency. He would probably move to Canada by the end of this year and start his new journey.
“I never thought of getting into the industry but with this opportunity, I will get international exposure. They do have contacts for Hollywood so might get an opportunity. As of now, I have told them I am totally into modeling and TVCs. So they are considering me as an artist. That is an acheivemnet for me.”
Arjun never got into modeling to be famous, instead, he wanted to do what he loved. His future plans are to be a modeling coach. He wants to train people who come from small towns.
“I want to help people who do know about the different opportunities they have in the industry. People who have potential should be navigated a right path. I have a full 5 year plan for that once I will reach that stage. For first 3 years I want to build my contacts in Canada. Then I want to run an agency. Rather than having a modeling or acting agency I want to have artist agency where all the talents like musicians and dancers are appreciated and shown the right way.”
Arjun’s advice to have stability in the modeling industry in terms of money is to build a side business or do something side by side. As money in today’s time can give a person immense confidence. One should do something if modeling is not paying them much because surviving in the industry is very important.
Arjun has been associated with an NGO since his college days. He sends the money to the NGO on a regular basis to provide food for needy people. Also in the future, he wants to have a shelter for animals.
“I always wanted to have my own farm for animals not just cats and dogs but for every animal. If you truly ask I never wanted to go anywhere out of country. When I understood the pain of people I wanted to have a shelter. Currently, I do not have that much funding. I come from a small town, I do not have a land. I will be a part of social cause no matter where I am, I will keep on supporting. Whenever I will have funding I will buy a land for animals and work with people who want to volunteer and work with me in serving them.”