As one of the nations's rare male supermodels, Amit Ranjan is on the move. I met him almost a decade back; at that time, his career was sky-rocketing and he was shifting to Mumbai while I was moving on from Condenast India to launch my own luxury portal. We made it a point to stay in touch and I am proud as a friend to see how his vision and hard work is paying off in spades. He has been steadily approaching his career with a dedication that is inspiring, racking up an impressive lineup of campaigns and diversifying into related careers. And why not? He lives and breathes fashion with his long rakish hair and tousled jeans.
''I would like to recognise my achievement more for myself. I have done myself proud,'' he agrees with a smile. ''I have learnt a lot in my journey, imbibed lessons and am now am passing them on. i have never compromised on the quality of work, turned down various projects without financial considerations and worked with young designers who could not afford my rate but if I related to their design ideology I would support their endeavour. It's my way of giving back. Here, let me clear a myth — taking on many projects does not make a model loose their exclusivity; there is a lot of work for male models so it has not come to that! I was also the first male model to keep my hair and beard long back in the day; many people from the industry had warned me that it would limit my work but I have always done what I am convinced about and am so glad it paid off; my look is an extension of who I am. My advice to young models has always been that nothing replaces hard work and originality; also an honest understanding of ones shortcomings is important because you will never lose perspective. Rejection leads you to perfection so be strong and never get afraid of rejection.''
Why does he say the pandemic is a blessing in disguise, I wonder? ''I traveled a lot, worked on myself and my body, explored free flowing exercises, callisthenics and yoga and this has worked wonders. I no longer miss the gym and this has been a revelation!! That said, I stay fit because I pay a lot of attention to maintaining a wholesome nourishing diet with greens and protein like chicken, fish, paneer, sprouts, peas, eggs, dairy products and dry fruits but I don't go over board. Soul food is relevant and I indulge my sweet tooth often although I stay away from caffeine and intoxication.''
What is his perspective on modelling today, I ask him? ''From my experience, I feel the modelling agencies need to be managed by professionals so that no favours are given out on personal equations; we need to be paid better and the work environment and ethics have to be emphasised on. I get job satisfaction from modelling but that does not imply that I am not keen to diversify. I am real keen on acting .and that is why I am based in Mumbai. I work hard to hone my skills by learning dance forms and performing art techniques. And I love to teach and take people along in my journey. If that makes me an influencer than yes I often post videos of my workout, my diet and my skills like dance, boxing, yoga, cooking etc. I also love travelling to offbeat destinations and I like to share all of this with the world! Looking forward, because of the pandemic there has hardly been any work but things have started opening up. I recently did a couple of shoots and I am looking forward to some interesting projects and taking my production company — AR Productions — to the next level.''
— JASMEEN DUGAL