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Raj Dobriyal: From Pithoragarh to Runways of London

Who would have imagined that a guy who didn’t have any clue about the fashion and modeling industry a decade back would become the face of India in International Fashion?

But it wasn’t easy for Raj Dobriyal. To make it this big, Raj worked hard with full dedication to get to the stage where he is now.

Recently, we caught up with Raj Dobriyal and had a heart-to-heart talk with him about his personal, and professional life as well as the future of the fashion industry in India.

Tell us about your childhood & education.

My family hails from the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. I did my schooling in Delhi & later completed a bachelor’s in Computer Applications from Indraprastha University Delhi.

How did you get into modeling?

It wasn’t a planned move. Throughout my childhood, I have always been a studious student. I never had any ambition to be a model. I was unaware of modeling and the fashion industry. While pursuing BCA, I did well in my first semester but faced an academic setback in my second semester. I had always been a topper, so this scared me a lot. I was further discouraged by my seniors who doubted my ability to even complete the degree in 3 years.

This prompted me to look for an alternate career option. One of my friends asked me to participate in a college fashion event. This is how I got to know about there is a career in this too & this is how I got into it.

How did you get your first major break in the industry?

After participating in the college fest, I got interested in the world of modeling. I tried quite a bit in Delhi. I worked in some small fashion events & did some shoots too, but the big break was still elusive. Fortunately, I participated in Elite Model Look contest. I got shortlisted from Delhi & went to Bombay for the finale, where I completed alongside Mustafa Dawood, Divyam Bidhuri, Pratik Shetty, etc.

During the event, I was suffering from Typhoid. I had to muster all my energy and willpower to keep my spirits up. It was a memorable experience for me because while other contestants were fighting for the title, I was fighting to just compete. The struggle made me realize my inner strength. That was the turning point in my life. Even though I couldn’t win Elite Model Look India but my journey in modeling commenced from thereon.

What was your favorite modeling experience so far?

My best modeling experience has been the campaign for Sabyasachi. All work I have done are close to my heart but during the Sabyasachi campaign, I had some amazing experience. At the time of casting, I spoke with someone who I thought to be someone from the casting team or the management team of Sabyasachi. After 30 minutes of smooth conversation, I realized that I was talking to the ace designer himself! I admire his professionalism and how he makes his team and everyone around him feel comfortable & appreciated.

Which brand you would love to model for?

Not any specific brand, but I would want to model for anything under the Make in India slogan.

Who is your favorite designer?

All designers I have worked till date have been amazing. I had a great experience working with them, but I can say Line outline, Sabyasachi & Falguni Shane Peacock are my favorite as a consumer.

What are you currently obsessed with/about?

I am obsessed with electric cars; I keep reading about them all the time.

How does it feel to be an International Model?

It is an amazing feeling when you are the face of your country. In shows in London or any part of the world, I feel like I am representing India. I am a cultural ambassador of my country and feel a sense of responsibility

Any plans to be an actor?

I would not lie. Yes, I want to act too. I have worked in TVCs, but to be an actor one has to learn a lot. At present, I am working on improving my acting skills.

Any advice for aspiring models?

I would suggest they just get started. Things will automatically happen if you are passionate about it. Set small goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them. Do not plan for the next 10 years as life is unpredictable!

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Gauraveshwar Singh
Entrepreneur & Writer

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