Arunabh Kumar is an Indian web series director and IIT alumni. He is the founder and former CEO of The Viral Fever (TVF), an OTT television channel. Critics have positively reviewed all his created shows, and he also received a Filmfare award for his OTT series, Panchayat.
Arunabh Kumar was born on Sunday, 26 November 1982 (age 40 years; as of 2021) in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. He was from a middle-class family and spent his childhood in Muzaffarpur. His parents wanted him to gain better education and shifted to various cities for this effort. They moved to seven-eight cities, after which they settled in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In Jaipur, he studied at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Vidyashram school. After this, he went to Kota to study for IIT JEE. He cleared this exam and went to the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur to pursue B.Tech in Electrical Engineering.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Ethnicity
Arunabh Kumar belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
He is the son of Prensheela Kumari who is a retired school principal.
His father is also a retired school principal, and he has two brothers.
Wife & Children
Arunabh met Shruti Ranjan in 2013 at IIT Bombay where she was pursuing her Masters in Environmental Science. The duo dated each other for a long time.
Shruti began her career as an RTT practitioner and now works as a Theta Healing Practitioner. After meeting Arunabh, she found her passion for photography and loves to do it in her free time. In April 2020, they got engaged, but their wedding was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On 24 May 2022, the couple finally got married in a private ceremony surrounded by their close relatives and well-wishers.
After completing IIT, Arunabh Kumar began his career as a research assistant with US Airforce at IIT Bombay in 2006. He didn’t like the job and left it. In an interview, he was asked about why he left this job, and he answered it by saying,
I think IIT is the time when I actually started getting this thing that there is something called films, movie making…and I started enjoying that. That would be the place where I discovered my drive and interest in it. So you can say that IIT is the time where I discovered that okay, this is an interesting field and I might want to do that. Then I also did a couple of internships, but I figured out that lets take the job. I took the US air force job because I was put in this subject called Image Processing, but I left it after six months only.
After leaving his engineering job, Arunabh joined Red Chillies Entertainment as an assistant director in 2017. There, his job responsibilities included everything from running around, taking printouts, and helping with every task on and offset.
He was also the assistant director in Farah Khan’s film Om Shanti Om which starred Shah Rukh Khan. After this project, it was hard for him to find a steady job that paid the bills. He tried his best to begin a career in filmmaking but ended up being broke after three years of struggle. So, he began shooting small AVs and corporate films for builders and ad agencies. This bought him a steady flow of income, but he again tried his luck in filmmaking. He thought of commencing his own TV show, Engineer’s Diary, and sent a proposal to MTV. The channel rejected the proposal. Due to this rejection, he thought of going online through YouTube. Once, he talked about this rejection and how he started creating his own TV shows. He said,
TVF didn’t really start from this rejection. TVF Media Labs was a company that I started for branded content production, and it was pretty established much before. It was started in 2010-11. Then, only when I had enough money to support myself, I thought of making my own TV show. So it’s a misconception that I started TVF because the show got rejected. I had TVF and I had enough money. In fact, TVF is not really a YouTube network, it’s a mother ship which I started. And after one and half years when I had enough money, that is when we intended to make some TV shows, which got rejected. And then I thought that maybe I should try and make my own show online. That’s how TVF online network came into existence.
In 2019, he also co-founded Indusverse with Alok Sharma and Saumin Patel and operates as its CEO. This venture is dedicated to producing comic books that raise contemporary issues in society.
- In March 2017, an anonymous post was published on Medium with the title “The Indian Uber- That is TVF”. This anonymous post was written by a female who accused Arunabh of sexually harassing her while she worked at TVF between 2014 and 2016. After this post, over 50 women stepped ahead and accused him of sexual harassment. On 17 March 2017, an FIR was filed against Arunabh on the basis of a third-party complaint filed by a lawyer. On 29 March 2017, the police booked him after a molestation complaint was filed by a woman in Mumbai. This was followed by another complaint. At that time, his association with TVF as its CEO impacted the channel’s image, which was unacceptable to investors. On 16 June 2017, Kumar stepped down from the position of TVF’s CEO position and handed over the charge to Dhawal Gusain.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- In 2014 he was titled the Newsmaker of the Year by AFAQs.
- In 2014, he was also titled the Men of the Year by Men’s World.
- In 2015, he made it to Fortune’s Top 40 under 40 list.
- In 2015, he was covered in the List of Most Influential Young Indians by GQ magazine.
- In 2016, he appeared on the list of 10 geniuses redefining creativity by Entrepreneur.
- In 2016, he made it to the 40 under forty list by The Economic Times.
- In 2021, he won four Flyx Filmfare OTT Awards 2020 for the first season of Panchayat.
Arunabh Kumar has an estimated net worth of $20 Million. (approx.)
- Food: Malaysian Cuisine, Poori Chole
- Films: Khosla ka Ghosla, Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, and It’s a Wonderful Life
- Actors: Jerry Seinfeld, Aamir Khan, and Amitabh Bachchan
- He played a short appearance in the film Om Shanti Om as a transgender.
- His shows, including Kota Factory, Yeh Meri Family, and Gullak have 9 plus ratings out of 10 by IMDb.
- He and his family run an NGO known as Masterji foundation, which works in the field of education.
- In 2020, due to depression, he was diagnosed with partial blindness in his right eye.