Meet fugitives Kris and Puneet from Hunted Australia

Puneet Gulati and Kris Chand in Channel 10’s Series ‘Hunted’ starting July 17

By Neeru Saluja

It’s an epic game of hide and seek. As 18 Australians are being chased by a team of expert hunters, this gripping series plays out like a real life thriller. Meet Indian fugitives Kris Chand and Puneet Gulati who are ready to embark on the toughest manhunt on Hunted Australia’s first season on Channel 10.

Sharing a passion for fitness, Melbourne residents Kris and Puneet met at a gym eight years ago. While stock trader Kris calls himself ‘calculating, kind and clever’, his mate Puneet who is a Disability Services Manager and actor terms himself ‘optimistic’. With their blend of creativity and critical thinking, will they succeed in their game plan to win the chase?

To know more, read our exclusive conversation with the team:

Tell us about the audition process and what made you participate in ‘Hunted’?

Puneet: I got a random message on one of the social media platforms about this show and whether I will be interested. I had no idea about this show. It sounded interesting. As an adult, it’s not everyday that you get an opportunity where you get chased. When I started asking questions about the show, the organisers asked if a mate of mine would be interested in joining and that’s when I approached Kris. We both knew each other since eight years as we were gym buddies. We went ahead and started the audition process.

While you both were participating in this show, what did you discover about yourselves?

Kris: I discovered that I can deal with a lot of mental stress. In this show, we were constantly facing mental pressure and paranoia as we knew we were being chased and someone was ready to catch us. Under such stress, we had to remind ourselves to be strong and effective. I did though struggle being surrounded by a lot of people and had to  give myself some personal space.

Puneet: When we were planning to go on this journey, I knew it would not be easy to ask people for shelter and refuge. But when we started asking for help from strangers or friends from the network, there was a level of discomfort. We were living in someone’s house and asking for favours from friends whom you normally would not ask for favours. Therefore, I discovered how to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

Coming from the Indian community, did you tap into your networks and count on assistance from them?

Puneet and Kris: We did delve into our network. Whenever we went to someone’s house, they knew someone else. The Indian community really rose to the occasion, and we are so grateful to the way they helped us. We are so proud of the South Asian community members as we were able to see the true culture that we used to see back home, which follows the saying ‘Guest is like God’. We were treated special by people who barely knew us. Every day we had a roof over our head and meals to fill our tummies.

This show is not an easy feat. During the chase, what kind of challenges did you face?

Puneet: The biggest challenge was to go to bed every night. Every night when the day finished, you had to think of your strategy for the next day. Will they come here the first thing in the morning or do I need to make sure to leave on time. Your mind never rests so you can stay one step ahead.

Kris: I also realised that your plans rarely go the way you want them to. You have to be ready to move things quickly. You can’t work with a rigid plan, we had to constantly change our game plan.

What special trait do you both have to stand out amongst other teams?

Kris: We both compliment each other. We had a very rounded skillset. Being from Melbourne and coming from the South Asian community gave us an edge.

Which kind of audience does this show cater to?

Puneet: This show is for everyone. It’s not like any other reality show I have seen for. You are in a constant race and this keeps you intrigued throughout the show. Regardless of the age group or country, they will be able to connect to the show.

You both are proud and passionate Melburnians, will this show go a long way in supporting the state through it’s recovery?

Puneet and Kris: We have travelled all over Victoria and discovered places that we have never been to despite living here for so long. We felt like a tourist in our city. This series will show Victoria in a different light. We have made incredible memories and though it’s not possible we wish to show every moment we lived on the show.

Hunted Australia premieres on Channel 10 at 7.30pm Sunday 17 July

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