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Anchored to success

chandigarh Updated: May 27, 2012 17:49 IST
Navleen Lakhi
Navleen Lakhi
Hindustan Times
gunjan utreja

He used to get just R300 when he started anchoring shows in Chandigarh. Today he charges around R75,000 per show! And, he hosts more than 15 shows per month. City lad Gunjan Utreja is a big shot when it comes to corporate awards, film premieres, sports events, TV anchoring, star nights, live concerts, game shows, product and brand launches, fashion shows et al. He has worked with people such as Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Karan Johar, Priyanka Chopra, Asha Bhosle, Katrina Kaif, Yuvraj Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Atif Aslam, Bikram Ghosh, Kareena Kapoor and more.

Currently hosting Aamna Samna on Colors, Utreja shares his journey from Chandigarh to Mumbai.

"I always wanted to be in front of the camera," says this alumnus of Government College, Sector 11 who completed a diploma in mass communication and later a master's degree in theatre from Panjab University.

"After completing the diploma I had an option to go to Mumbai but I focussed on education; it is something you can always fall back on. I eventually moved to Mumbai in 2009. I did not know anyone there except my greatest friend - my passion. I was terribly passionate and today, I can say proudly, that it has helped me achieve what I desired. I was a regular guy from a middle-class family but I created a demand for myself by establishing myself in the industry," he says confidently. Whatever opportunity came his way - big or small - he lapped it up. Be it MTV iSuperstar, Mumbai Marathon, or hosting the world concert tour of Asha Bhosle, hosting the premiere of TV show Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain with Shah Rukh Khan or the launch of season 3 of Koffee with Karan, he did it all.

The 28-year-old with more than 1000 shows to his credit, says, "The day I realised that I wanted to be an anchor, half the battle was won. Anchoring is an extension of who you are. Being successful is not just about being intelligent; it's a package of many things. I create a lot of new things and don't repeat content. It's important to challenge yourself constantly."

The guy has also featured in many ads and made his acting debut on TV with Sony's serial Chhajje Chhajje Ka Pyar. He also hosts Sitare Masti Mein, a Bollywood chat show on Masti.