Pankaj Soni, more famously known by his YouTube channel name Mechanical Jugadu, is an amazing personality. He is the most professional and down-to-earth automobile training YouTuber I have come across. His videos are filled with tons and tons of knowledge that are not taught to newbies in driving schools. Even experienced drivers can learn a lot from Pankaj’s videos, more around how to take good care of car and reduce wear and tear. All of this is coming from his own experience of driving cars for the past 10 years! This is the reason by the following on this channel is cruising towards 400K subscribers. Well, all the videos put together have amassed a total of 135 million+ views! What an amazing feat this is.
Moreover, Pankaj keeps sharing important lessons and facts in short videos either on YouTube or his Instagram page. See, for example, the video below. I bet you didn’t know about this:
In this interview, in addition to talking about his journey from a sales professional (yes, he worked at a famous company doing sales for middle-east customers) to a full-time YouTubers. He also reveals a secret in question number 10 that none of his fans are aware of! He has a few business ideas too that he will share with us soon. Without further ado, enjoy the interview!
Mechanical Jugadu a.k.a. Pankaj Soni Interview
Q1. My first question to you is that why does your YouTube channel URL (https://www.youtube.com/c/MechanicalJugadu3956) have the number 3956 in it? This number is a part of your email ID as well. And this is not the number in your Brezza or Alto’s number plates. So what is it?
Good question! Actually, 3956 are the last four digits of my mobile number. I have two mobile numbers and the last five digits of both of them are the same. I have just picked the last four digits and added them as suffix. There is no real reason why I added them.
Q2. Do you think driving is a life skill and you should know driving irrespective of whether you own a car or not?
If you don’t have a car, you will not be able to learn driving. Even if you learn it, you won’t be able to practice. So I don’t think there is any use of learning if at the time of learning you don’t have a car with you.
Q3. The reason why I asked this question is that if you are traveling long distance with someone and he/she is unable to drive for whatever reason. You are stuck on a highway with no network. In this case, wouldn’t the basic knowledge of driving help you to take the car to the nearest petrol pump or city from where you can get help?
No, I don’t think that will help. Just by knowing where is clutch, brake and accelerator, no one can drive. Firstly, if the primary driver of the car is unwell, the co-passenger(s) will anyway become nervous. In this situation, they anyway wouldn’t be drive if they are not confident about driving. If someone is in a learning phase, he or she should have a car. If someone like me, who has been driving for 10+ years, or even someone who has been driving since 2-3 years and if they take a gap for a year or so, it won’t matter because properly-learnt driving cannot be forgotten.
Q4. Who are your role models and what have you learnt from them?
I will be honest. I don’t have any role models. Yes, like everyone, I look up to my father and have inculcated some of his qualities. I even pick a few things from various people but don’t have any role model as such.
Q5. You will be turning 28 on 14th July 2022. What would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Don’t go with the flow. Just because others are doing something doesn’t mean you should do it too. Set a goal. Go and communicate with people. Don’t be an introvert.
During every holidays in college, I used to go home. I never participated in any activities or travel plans, etc. I would advise my 18-year-old self to participate and network more.
Q6. Does this mean that you shouldn’t have done your engineering or masters?
I would have done engineering for sure but I may not have done masters. I always thought that whoever does BTech also does MTech. I ended up taking an integrated BTech+MTech course of 5 years but realised later that companies are preferring only those with BTech. And BTech is a gateway to many things whereas MTech restricts you in a way.
Q7. If you has Rs. 10 crores in your personal bank account, what would you do with it apart from buying new cars?
I would do investment – buying land, stock markets, etc. I also have a few ideas for new business that I want to start in 1-2 years – I would put this money there. I would not put money in things that don’t give me returns.
Q8. If you were made the Minister of Road Transport and Highways in India, what are the top priority things you would undertake from a safety point of view?
I would improve the condition of roads. Add signages at all important places. I would designate a traffic policeman at every junction to avoid people taking their vehicles over zebra crossing. I will let people know about the various rules and regulations that exist. I will also educate the pedestrians because I have seen them crossing the road even when the vehicles are moving on green light.
Q9. The amount of information that YouTubers like you and others are sharing is really helpful. We were not taught even a fraction of it when we were learning to drive in a driving school. If you were made the head of all Driving Schools in India, what would you do?
First, I will train the trainers. I will tell all driving schools how to behave with their students. Often they scold and reprimand them or are rude with them if they are not driving well. I will make a new kind of curriculum on what to teach to the students, which will include sessions on night driving, hill driving, traffic driving, highway driving, snow driving, etc. Students should be given exposure to things that we face in our daily life. Additionally, trainers maintain control full control over the vehicle.
I have a business idea planned along these lines by the way. I will announce that closer to launch.
Q10. Tell us 3 things no one knows about you.
1. I guess no one knows the fact that I was doing a full-time job before YouTube. I was doing sales of motor insurance to Middle-east customers at Policy Bazaar. I was somewhere connected to automobile. I worked there for 1.5 years. Then I worked for 1.5 months at Byju’s. I then realised that I was not made for a job! I just couldn’t take anyone’s instructions. Hence, I left the job and started YouTube.
2. People don’t know about my family. People do vlogging and all and share everything but I just cannot do that. I am not comfortable.
3. Third thing is my relationship status. I am not single anymore. I have someone in my life who I really love. I don’t want to reveal her identity right now. But yes, this is the thing that no one knows.
Q11. We need you to make one promise – what would you do for us once you reach 500K and 1M subscriber mark?
I will keep making informative videos. I will be regular, which is not the case now. I will not leave my professionalism. This is the promise I want to make to by subscribers.
Q12. You are based out of Mahendragarh right now. Are there any plans of moving to a city and experiencing city life?
Yes, I do have plans of moving to a bigger city. I have never had any excitement about moving abroad. I always wanted to live in India. Within India, my favourite city is Gurgaon. Firstly, it has all the amenities and secondly, it is closer to my hometown. So I will be moving to Gurgaon soon.
Q13. If YouTube and Instagram shuts down in India for whatever reason, what would you do?
This is the biggest nightmare that I have discussed a few of my relatives. I believe YouTube shouldn’t be my mainstream work or main business. Side by side, within 1 or 2 years, I am planning to open up new businesses through which I will not be 100% dependant on YouTube.
Q14. Apart from YouTube (automobile) and Fitness, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I like traveling, but by car only. I love mountains.
Q15. Any quick safety tips for drivers or things to do before, during and after driving?
1. Don’t eat too much. You will feel lethargic. Recently, one of my relatives almost met with an accident when he was driving after a heavy lunch and was feeling sleepy.
2. Take short breaks, keep moving during these breaks to stay active
3. Drink water
4. Stop the car immediately if you are feeling sleepy
5. Listen to music or comedy stuff to be active
6. Sit upright
It was great interacting with Mechanical Jugadu a.k.a. Pankaj Soni. By the way, this is his first interview on any platform after becoming a YouTube celebrity so we are honoured in that sense. His last interview was when he was looking for a job 😛 Here are the links to his YouTube channel and Instagram page again. He also has a second channel where he posts a lot of his fitness-related content. Do follow/subscribe for interesting and unique automobile and fitness-related content.
My personal favourite video series from Mechanical Jugadu (apart from all-important driving lessons) is this playlist from his road trip to Leh-Ladakh in September 2021. I had binge-watched this whole series.
Hope you enjoyed this interview. If you know any influencer or social media personality who would be interested in this series, please write to me at vi[email protected] or [email protected]. Thank you!