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Shaking It Up with Sanjay Ghosh: A Bartender’s Tryst with Content Creation, Bar Advocacy and Beyond

  • Name: Sanjay Ghosh
  • Youtube: @Cocktailsindia
  • Instagram: @dada.bartender
  • Industry Experience: 18 years
  • Favorite Drink: Whiskey Sour with Bourbon
  • Favorite Non Alcoholic Drinks: Any mocktail with coconut water

Sanjay Ghosh’s career spans a wide range of roles but what’s common to all his diverse career pursuits is sheer determination to make a difference. Sanjay’s story begins 20 years ago when he took up work in the hospitality industry to support his family through financial troubles after a business setback. It was a steward role at the charming Woodlines Hotel in Manali that first introduced Sanjay to the dazzling world of bartending. “I saw bartenders there making different kinds of colourful drinks and flipping bottles – it seemed like a very cool job!” The desire to become one himself soon took shape but his lack of experience in the area served as a barrier for entry.

Not one to get deterred, Sanjay moved back to Kolkata where he began working with Aqua Java, a coffee chain and in 2016, moved to Oberoi Grand Hotel where he began his foray into bartending and content creation. It was during one of the routine hospitality upskilling and training sessions that Sanjay was acquainted with the language gap plaguing the hotel service industry. While the sessions were attended by almost every member of the staff, there were a handful few who could actually comprehend the English instructions. It was this insight backed with India’s booming internet usage that sparked the idea to create a Hindi Youtube channel aimed at bartenders not very fluent in English.

Did he have someone to guide with his journey? “Yes! It is Sunil Chandra Saha (Founder, Blue Tea India).” It was Saha’s guidance and mentorship that shaped the core of Sanjay’s career and content creation. From “guidance on how to interact with a client, to what content is better for sustained success, to offering me camera-friendly grooming tips – I am extremely grateful to him!”, adds Sanjay.

It is 2016. Imagine clocking long shifts as a bartender and heading home well past midnight to set up a makeshift bar, a camera and lights to shoot content in a small apartment, then to edit said video and post it! Ever the optimist, Sanjay counts himself lucky to be on this journey – despite the trolls and the steep learning curve, the most “rewarding aspect was to meet fellow bartenders and creators who were kind enough to share tips” to help improve his content game, he adds. From getting trolled by users owing to his limited command over English, to persevering for three years straight before his Youtube channel yeilded revenue (and “some recognition”) – Sanjay’s journey as a content creator hasn’t been without its share of challenges.

But there is a method to this madness. Now eight years into this journey as a full-time creator, Sanjay’s content creation process has evolved: backed by a script, solid research and hooks to capture the attention of his audience. With serious upgrades to his hardware, from a humble smartphone to a high-end Sony a73s camera, Sanjay has sailed through some rough seas to become Dada Bartender on Youtube.

Today, Sanjay wears many hats. Apart from his Youtube channel with 716K subscribers, he is associated with brand trainings, advocacy programs while also fulfilling his role as a life coach in the alco-bev space, training bartenders, helping to improve their mindset and upskill to better handle the rigours of their profession.

Any parting notes for others foraying into content-creation? “Be consistent. Everyone wants to chase virality, but overnight success is impossible. Continue posting, maybe afer 300 videos, you might start to taste success. If you’re super lucky, maybe after 150 videos!”

– Nagwa Kureshi