Long-term UAE resident and a loving grandfather, Puneet Sud is making a mark in the modelling world with good looks and irresistible charm
The next time someone says, "you're too old" for something, prove them wrong with Dubai resident Puneet Sud, a 61-year-old aspiring model and actor who made his debut this year and is redefining the scene.
To date, he has appeared in a number of UAE-based commercial shoots for social media and TV, and even received an opportunity to audition for a cameo appearance in one of renowned Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar's upcoming thrillers. While he may have not landed the role, Puneet said that it was a fascinating experience and looks forward to sashaying down ramps in the near future.
How it all beganPuneet first arrived in the UAE in 1988 and pursued a career as a media professional. At the time, the concept of modelling never crossed his mind.
"I was 29 when I'd first landed in the UAE. I have done a number of jobs from being a salesperson for an advertising and promotional gift items company, to handling media sales with a leading publishing house and telecom company," he said.
In 2017, he gave up his 8 to 5 job and ventured into innovative media sales, but a chance meeting in 2019 eventually sparked an interest in the world of aesthetics.
There's something youthful about Puneet, as we conversed over the phone about his journey.
"I've always disliked the word "retired". My venture into modelling happened by a chance meeting with a client/friend who thought that I was 'model' material. He had told me that there is a vacuum in the 50-plus category and insisted that I create a portfolio," he said.
Upon his advice, Puneet did so and registered himself with several modelling agencies in Dubai. With warm encouragement from his family and lady luck on his side, he had landed a number of prestigious assignments in January and February 2020. He currently specialises in looks that are dark, sinister and brooding. He also flaunts a mature and unorthodox appeal, complemented by a blended Asian, Mediterranean and European appearance.
"My first assignment was a shoot for a leading home furnishing brand for social media. Funnily enough there were no butterflies in my stomach. It was not nerve-wracking either. I mentally never allowed myself to think that I was on a set, and simply retained a natural frame of mind and attitude," he said.
Breaking stereotypesSpeaking about obstacles, Puneet who is a father, father-in-law and grandfather, said that he has come across typical stereotypes and criticisms from others - from his senior age and having a bald head, to his judgemental nature. Despite all odds, he said he pulled through with a strong belief in himself and his abilities.
Puneet draws inspiration from Dinesh Mohan, a professor based in India who quickly climbed up the ranks to become one of the most sought-after models in the fashion industry.
"I see a lot of similarities between Dinesh Mohan and I. He is also 61 years old, has type 2 diabetes like me and battled weight issues. He had overcome many obstacles and continues to be my inspiration," he added.
When not strutting on sets, Puneet loves to stay physically active. He frequents the gym and loves to socialise.
Fountain of youth: As cliché as it may sound, age is a figure in your head. You are as old as you mentally think you are. Simply believe in yourself, in your abilities, and above all, in God. Keep life simple. Enjoy and savour every moment. Stay fit, eat sensibly and sleep well. And most importantly, stop chasing a rainbow; be realistic.
Words of wisdom: To all my 'veteran' compatriots, it's never too late. Follow your instincts and believe in yourself
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