NEW DELHI: CEO-turned-ace comedian Atul Khatri is spending his quarantine time cheering up folks on social media, after his 16-city tour tanked because of the novel coronavirus epidemic. Understanding the responsibility that widely-followed content creators have now, Khatri started his own short-video programme called “Only Positive News!”, which he is promoting on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.*
Talking about the property with, Khatri says, “I conceptualised this idea earlier this month when the pandemic was becoming a serious news. Be it news channels, or WhatsApp groups, everything was filled with so much of negativity. So, I thought that there must be some positive news out there and I should promote it.”
Khatri says that with nine episodes down, the mini series has got him a lot of positive response, not just within the country, but also from overseas. “I have got around 4000 new unique followers on Instagram with ‘Only Positive News!” and a lot of appreciation from my followers. More than a lakh people are watching its episodes,” he notes.*
Elaborating on the process of creating the property, Khatri says he initially talked to his video editor about shooting and editing it, but it was not feasible because he lives in the other part of the city. Then, some of his fellow comedians suggested he use mobile-editing software InShot and do it himself. He claims to have learnt the software within a day and is now regularly serving netizens with a droplet of hope and positivity with the show, told in his own signature comic style.*
Khatri admits that his industry has been hit hard because of live events being cancelled, but he is happy that the authorities are taking the necessary steps to avoid further spread. What he is concerned about more is the impact the pandemic is having on the life of daily wage earners like spot guys and makeup artists and hopes private and government intervention can be of support to them.*
A former C-level executive, Khatri is also expecting some government intervention in the business side as well. “I was talking to a friend who told me that he has salaries to pay worth Rs 45 lakh. I suggested he keeps the salaries going, especially for those employees who have EMIs to pay. But what is needed right now is government support, maybe in the form of cancelling EMIs for the time period, or giving out monetary support.”
Khatri feels that employers should take care of their employees in such times. Asked what his plan of action would have been in case he was still running a company, he said his prime concern would have been employee safety and satisfaction. “I would have let them work from home and provide all the necessary support.”