Rohit Nautiyal
Who's that

Who's That: Vipul Gupta - "Ads are my bread and butter"

Though the 29-year-old model has forayed into films, he confesses that he loves to make ad films, as they are straight from the heart

Vipul Gupta can look like the guy next door, and is equally convincing as a tough-looking hunk. Television watchers cannot have failed to spot him, in at least a few of the 45 ads that he has appeared in.

Who's That: Vipul Gupta - "Ads are my bread and butter"
Gupta’s interest in modelling began when he joined Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi, where he walked the ramp for the first time. "I guess the germ entered my brain at that point in time and it continues to breed till now," he says.

Later, he joined General Electric (GE) and completed an MBA in marketing. It was during this time that he got his first portfolio clicked. Soon, offers for print ads and ramp shows poured in. With the support of an understanding boss, Gupta got to work with some big names in the fashion industry, including Ritu Beri, J J Valaya and Ravi Bajaj.

In this period, with the help of a friend, he also got associated with A Common Man’s Entertainment (ACME), a theatre group formed by alumni of the National School of Drama (NSD). By spending time with the group on weekends, Gupta learnt the basics of acting. He also participated in a few plays produced by the group.

At the end of 2003, with some savings, he packed his bags to try his luck in Mumbai, as Delhi wasn’t too hot for a career in modelling. As luck would have it, in the same year, Gupta got his first TVC with Pears soap, titled ‘Mujhme hai woh Baat’.

This was followed by ads for Airtel, Indian Oil, Siyaram’s and McDowell’s. "My target was to do at least six commercials in six months. God was kind enough, as I ended up achieving 80 per cent of the set target, by working on four TVCs and three print ads," he says.

Gupta has worked in commercials for brands such as TVS Scooty, Mountain Dew, Wild Stone, Onida, Dabur Hajmola, Lakmé Cold Cream, Doy Care Soap, Rexona Deodorant, Royal Stag, Business Today, Breeze, Nimbooz, Chevrolet and LG Mobile.

"My parents were always my rock of Gibraltar, especially my mother, who stood by me in all the good and bad times," he says. In 2005, he lost his mother. In the same year, Gupta had a brief stint with television soaps, when he worked on India Calling, a show set against the backdrop of a call centre, which aired on Star One for a year.

Strangely, he did not take up any projects on television after that. "I never wanted to be categorised as a TV actor, and decided to just leave it there," he declares.

Another milestone was when he came on-board as brand ambassador for Onida, along with Manjari Fadnis, replacing the traditional Devil. In the new set of commercials titled ‘Tumko dekha toh yeh design aaya’, the duo plays a married couple, Siddharth and Ritu.

Though he has worked in a few movies, the 29-year-old confesses, "Ads are my bread and butter. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best creative minds in the country, including Prasoon Joshi, Chax, Pradeep Sarkar, Sujit Sarkar, and Nikhil Advani. To me, ads come straight from the heart."

(Who's that? is an effort to highlight the lesser known talents from the advertising, media and marketing industry.)