Careers off screen

Acting is not enough for film stars, says Zeenat Zafar

 ACTORS HAVE already proved their mettle on screen, that they can act and dance around the trees.

     For some actors having a career option to fall back on might have been a necessity for many others it was a starting something for the lark. Of late we have seen many actors donning the hat of a producer or having stakes in cricket teams, salons, spas, restaurants, retail chains, et al. We take a look at some of the actors who have taken the plunge into something beyond the arc lights and emerging a winner (sometimes)! Well thanks to their business minds and correct investments, few actors are laughing their way to the banks.

     Shahrukh Khan apart from being a superstar also owns a production house. Well, he needn’t have a side career option but these are ways to perhaps keep himself up in the market as a successful businessman as well. From television shows to movies, the production house churns out a host of things to keep the star no less than a busy bee.

     This is not all. King Khan also has stakes in IPL alongside Juhi Chawla to keep preoccupied.

     So is the case with Aamir Khan who produces movies year after year with thought provoking campaigns in tow, is surely a smart entrepreneur who invests his money on the right movies and actors. While for the other Khan, Salman with his brothers has his cards well placed and piggybacking on his Dabangg fervour year after year. He also has Being Human to bank on, which has its own store in the country.

     Moving on to Saif Ali Khan, well the Nawab too produces movies amidst acting, being the perfect hubby to his Bebo and living life king size. Sanjay Dutt too after making babies, is busy setting up his production house with wife Manyaata to churn out a few wonders.

     Akshay Kumar has smart investors to co- produce movies apart from a few interiors- candles business’s that his wife looks after. Akshay chooses his actors, co- producers and film scripts carefully and from the look of it has been proving lucky for the last couple of years.

     Hrithik Roshan has a host of buildings given on rent to media production houses. Besides, his wife deals in interiors-furnish retail stores. A couple of successful movies launched his career as a producer and there has been no looking back thereafter! Sunny Deol with his lucky mascot brother and father in tow produces movies, which belong to urban middle class north Indian set up, and needless to say, he does a fine job of it. The Deols’ also have their own sound and music recording studio.

     However, successful actors like Govinda, Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Shroff have not been victorious producers as compared to the others who tried their hand at it. Earlier we have seen Kamal Hassan, Anupam Kher, Dev Anand, Deepak Tijori, Feroz Khan trying their luck with producing movies.

     In the same league of old time actors; Anil Kapoor is making small budget films which essentially cater to the urbane audience, gladly casting himself or his daughter in his ventures. Now socialite-cum-actress, Poonam Dhillon has a vanity van service which she has been successfully handling for over a decade now.

     Ajay Devgan is mostly seen acting in his own productions; this actor brings out a host of movies each year to stay in the rat-race. From action to comedy, he has one of each genre being churned out every year from his stable, giving the fresh heroines a fair chance to display their acting talents as a co-star. Ajay has also invested in a 25 MW solar power plant in Gujarat.

     Dino Moreo has a chain of restaurants (Crepe Station) in the country, besides a retail line, so he is in no hurry to become a super star but has enough things happening in his life to fall back on. So is the case with Arjun Rampal, who has opened a lounge bar (Lap) in Delhi besides runs an event management company (Chasing Ganesha) which has been host to plenty of international stars on their personal visits to India. So is the case with yesteryears actor, Mithun Chakravarty who owns a plush hotel in Ooty and has stake in IPL teams. Sunil Shetty owns a retail line; restaurants in Mumbai, he and his wife co-organise high end exhibitions every few months.

     He has stakes in Hakim Alim’s salons and is all set to launch his daughter into the industry which is keeping him super busy for sure! Rohit Roy may be juggling between movies and television, but when it comes to making moolah, he has his biz strategies well worked out. He owns a security service company which provides security to some of the top stars and cricketers in the country besides the IPL matches.

     The women in the industry are no less of entrepreneurs. Shilpa Shetty Kundra has stakes in IPL, has opened spas across the country besides her fitness DVD and TV shows. Restaurant and real estate ventures keep the Shilpa and her husband Raj Kundra completely packed. Another beauty queen turned actress – Lara Dutta is setting up designer shoe line besides her fitness DVD and her first release early last year has fetched her a fortune. Bipasha Basu also almost followed suit after a host of actresses launched their fitness DVD, she came up with hers recently.

     The media savvy and well educated (MBA) John Abraham has gotten into film production as well and produced his first venture (Vicky Donor), which earned enough dough to give him immense encouragement to move ahead in the line. He has bought properties abroad and invested wisely in the share markets, putting all his marketing strategies that he might have learnt in his post graduation days to the hilt. He has an international casting agency and is also touted to start a plush gym with world class facilities in the country.

     Sushmita Sen owns a jewellery house in Dubai besides the Miss Universe India franchise, alongside producing a film or two. She may not be doing any movies for now but has her itinerary booked pretty well. The pretty damsel, Preity Zinta bought IPL team with her ex-beau and is all set to release her film this year. Stepping into the producer’s shoes was also Dia Mirza whose movie did not taste box office success.

     Another beauty queen turned actress Priyanka Chopra still has a roaring career to bank on. However she came up recently with her music video which she shot in LA, besides medical/ cosmetic clinics which her parents look after (her parents are doctors by profession).

     Newbie actress Jacqueline Fernandes who hails from Sri Lanka, has bought an island in her country of origin which she is touted to open soon to tourists with resort facilities. Given the tough competition and the business ventures, our Bollywood actors are certainly turning out to be business savvy entrepreneurs or risk takers. (INAV)