A look at some of the faces from the Indian film industry who tried their hands at other professions, too, and made a mark for themselvesby Geeta Singh
The badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan is also a successful businessman. His cricket team in the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders cost him Rs 312 crore. He has two production companies – Red Chillies and Deamz Unlimited. He had formed Dreamz Unlimited along with Juhi Chawal and Aziz Mirza. Now he has formed a third company to produce TV serials and programs. Red Chillies Studio is there for post-production work. His fourth company, Arc Lights, provides film equipment of international standards such as ariflex camera, lights and cranes. His fifth company Iron Infomatics is a software company. He is also a partner in E-24, an entertainment channel. After a business portfolio like this, Shah Rukh now wants to start a designer line, a five-star hotel and an amusement park.
The shehenshah of Bollywood Amitabh Bachhan had formed ABCL (Amitabh Bachhan Corporation Ltd) about a decade ago. The aim of the company was to hunt movie talent and launch them in movies. The company discovered actors such as Arshad Warsi, Chandrachur Singh, Priya Gill and Simran. But the company had to incur losses worth Rs 200 crore. Big B has now named the company AB Corp Ltd. Now his daughter-in-law Aishwarya runs the company. The production and distribution of “Paa” and “Harishchandrachi Factory” was by AB Corp. Apart from advertisements, BG B also has a business in prime estate and has tried his luck in politics, too. He also owns a perfume line. Apart from this, he is minting money from brand endorsements and TV shows.
Actor and producer Aamir Khan also has a production company of his own. Aamir Khan Productions has, until now, produced super hit movies such as “Lagaan”, “Mangal Pandey”, “Taare zameen par”, “Jaane tu ya jaane na”, Peepli live”. “Dhobi ghat” and “Delhi belly” are its forthcoming movies. Having earned crores of rupees from these movies, Aamir’s production company is for now the number one production company in India. That’s because Aamir is a keen businessman.
Although Salman Dabangg Khan has not other company or vocation, but everyone knows he has played a significant role in forming the production company started by his siblings Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and sister Alvira. Apart from movies, he was earning movie only from advertisements but is now stepping into the world of paintings and designer clothes.
Being the son of a nawab family, Saif Ali Khan has inherited several businesses. His havelis in Bhopal and Pataudi are hotels. He also has a production company, which has made movies such as “Love aajkal” and “Agent Vinod”. He is also keen on buying his own IPL cricket team.
Ajay Devgn has also produced movies such as “All the best”, “You, me aur hum” and Raju Chacha”. Apart from this, he also has a distribution company as well as a studio. His wife Kajol also has a software company and a business portal. They are now ushering into the hospitality business, too.
Mithun Chakravarti was probably the first actor to turn entrepreneur while still a star. He has five-star hotels in Ooty, Bengaluru and Kolkata. He has also started his own production company.
Superstar Sanjay Dutt has opened a designer store in South Africa along with his wife Maanyata. He also has two production companies – White feather film productions and Sanjay Dutt Film Productions Pvt Ltd. His father Sunil Dutt had also started to invest in real estate and had a studio of his own. He then chose politics as his vocation and produced several movies, too. Sanjay is also trying to make a career for himself in politics. He also owns a restaurant “Poison” in Bandra in Mumbai, which was under the scanner for selling liquor on August 15.
Suneil Shetty’s movie career may have just been a fancy but he has proven to be a serious businessman. He has been successful in everything he tried – restaurants, real estate, production studio and hotels. He has restaurants in Mangalore and Mumbai. He also has a garments business and his wife Manya runs an export house. To expand it, he plans to start a chain of lifestyle stores with brands such as 109 F. These stores will have everything from a coffee shop and barber shop to a salon. He is planning this foray in partnership with garment company called Creative. With the crossover Creative brand, these stores will sell Bollywood designs. He also has a production company called Popcorn Entertainments. He also has a security services company that provides security and personal bodyguards to film stars and businessmen.
South Indian stars are naturally fond of businesses other than acting. Several stars are investing in TV channels. But Malyali superstar Mohan Lal started a different business after 22 years of stardom. He has started a business of condiments and pickles by the name of Taste Buds. The brand is popular with south Indians living in the Gulf. He has also started a restaurant by the same name in Karama. He also has a shipping company as well as stake in Kairali channel.
Mohan Lal’s competitor in movies and a fast friend in real life, super star Mamootty has movies channels for business. He owns Asianet and Kairali. He has recently started two new entertainment channels – Asianet 24X7 and Middle East Asia.
After the success of “Rajneeti”, producer-director Prakash Jha has also stepped into real estate. With an investment of nearly Rs 1,100 crore, Jha is building malls in several towns and cities of Bihar. These will not only had big brand shops and multiplexes but also acting coaching centres. He is being assisted by Johns Long Consultancy Company in his project. The deal has been finalized with Raymond’s, Big Bazaar and Siaram’s. The theatres will be those of Adlabs. These malls will also come up in Jharkhand. Twelve such malls are already ready in cities such as Jamshedpur, Hathipur, Darbhanga and Dhanbad. He also owns a regional channel called Maurya and is also trying his hand at politics.