Australian-Tamil Nitesh Pillai Trailblazes His Own Path As The Intellectual Model After Being Discovered On TikTok & Signing With IMG Models

Tell us about your upbringing (family, where you grew up, etc.) and that may have influenced you to eventually become a model?

My upbringing was a blend of Eastern culture, spirituality and family identity and a Western framework of opportunity. My parents are both born in Malaysia, with my mum having 12 siblings and my dad with 10. So, you can imagine, my family events are wild. As a result of my loving family, virtues of compassion, dedication, laughter, and selflessness were developed at a young age. I was the youngest in my generational line of the family, and as a result was always eagerly listening, analysing, being inspired and learning. Undoubtedly this gave me a rare insight to the world fuelled by inspiration and knowledge, which I have transgressed across my life, into both my uni life, and modelling career. 

How did you get discovered?  

I was discovered by my mother agent, Mollie Dendle over in the UK. When she was doing online scouting during lockdown, to which she found my Tiktok account @Boytesh and got into contact with me and IMG wanted to see me soon after.

What is the business relationship like working with an agent or agency?

It is brilliant. I am lucky enough to be signed to one of the world’s most successful agencies, IMG Models. As a result have access to fitness trainers, massive international cliental and even barbers. My agents have a range of roles, including casting arrangements, networking, events, and jobs.

What is something about being a model that you didn’t expect drastically impacts your life on a day-to-day basis?

As a model, it is not a job, rather a lifestyle. There are no business hours as you are expected to be always prepared for a shoot. As a result, your diet must be at the highest level, along with fitness, skin care and sleep. I would say that eating this many salads was a welcomed surprise.

Is there anything besides modeling that you eventually want to explore having a career in?

Definitely. I am currently studying Law/Politics, Philosophy and Economics. So, in future, I want to work in the area of human rights within some capacity. I also want to venture towards acting which I believe will be an inevitable progression.

I know historically, something like modeling was often looked down on, in the Tamil community in terms of as a viable career option.  What role has your family, friends & general support system played in the choices that you’ve made in your life so far?  Have they generally agreed with the choices you’ve made?

Growing up in Australia as first-generation Australians, meant that we were far away from any unfriendly judgement. However, my family know how hardworking and dedicated I am, and as a result support me in all my endeavours as long as I have critically thought about my decisions. This support and non-judgement are paramount to whom I am and have become, and I believe is a virtue we should all strive for. 

What is a failure (or “learning lesson”) that you’ve experienced in the last 3 years and what did you learn from it?

I don’t see any life experience as a failure, only challenges. One thing I learned is that you can question your decisions, but never the outcomes. As long as you have given your all towards a venture, you can be at peace, knowing these cards weren’t dealt for you. 

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?

I am striving to become an international supermodel, and a full-time actor. However, I shall see where life takes me and flow with it gracefully. Although if the last few years are evidence towards my future projections, you can bet you will hear about me.

What do you do outside of work for fun?

I am currently reading 4 books, which are fuelling my creative juices and analytical mind. I also love playing football, going for runs & fitness activities, hanging out with mates, watching movies and being with my family and getting Chai with my bro!

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