A career in films is not always very long. You cannot play a long inning here unless you are extremely talented and lucky. Every day new faces join the industry and the competition here becomes ever higher. You don't know if the superstar of today will command the same power and popularity tomorrow or vanish into oblivion. So, for a regular income throughout their lives, our stars invest the money earned from films into some other businesses and make huge profits. Here, we list down top ten Bollywood actors who have successful side business also.
10) SHAH RUKH KHAN
Well, if you are a true Shah Rukh Khan fan, you know that he is not just the biggest superstar in the world, he is an entrepreneur also. The actor, who started his journey from television in the late 80s and then forayed into films with the super hit movie ‘Deewana’ in 1992 before delivering innumerable successful films at the box office, has seen a meteoric rise in his career as an entertainer. With his hard work and peerless dedication, he has established himself as one of the most successful and highest paid actors in the world. His brand value is worth billions. He is the world’s second richest entertainer. So, does Shah Rukh make all his money through films only? No, SRK has a diversified business which yields him profits in millions every year.
Khan is co-chairman of the motion picture production company Red Chillies Entertainment and its subsidiaries. His production company produces films and its VFX division offers VFX and animation services to other production houses and filmmakers. Besides owning Red Chillies Entertainment and its bouquet of subsidiaries, SRK is also the co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders. Khan acquired ownership rights for the franchise in 2008 in partnership with Juhi Chawla, who has been her costar in many successful films like ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’ (1992) and ‘Darr’ (1993), and her husband Jay Mehta for US$75.09 million. The team gained immense popularity due to its association with celebrity owners, but it could not do much on the field in the initial years. However, its performance improved drastically over the time and the team won IPL champions for the first time in 2012. KKR is one of the richest teams in the IPL, with a brand value of several million. Shah Rukh Khan is an award show host and television presenter. He endorses a number of brands from where he makes a hell lot of money.
9) SHILPA SHETTY
Bold and beautiful Shilpa Shetty may not be seen in films anymore, but she still is one of the most popular public figures in India. The gorgeous actress, who began her career in movies with the suspense thriller ‘Baazigar’ (1993) opposite none other than Shah Rukh Khan, has done a number of successful films in her career including ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ (1994), ‘Dhadkan’ (2000), ‘Garv’ (2004) and ‘Apne’ (2007). It is not an exaggeration to say that year 2007 was the turning point of her life as she broke onto the international scene by successfully winning the controversial reality show ‘Celebrity Big Brother 5’. Her unexpected win made media see her in a new light.
In February 2009, Shilpa Shetty began dating businessman Raj Kundra, with whom she owned the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Rajsthan Royals. Both walked down the aisle on 22nd November 2009 and now have a son born in 2012. As it is clear now that, in addition to films, Shilpa has her involvement in other profit generation ventures, most of them being bankrolled by her husband Raj Kundra. After Shilpa and Raj sold out their stakes in the IPL team of Rajasthan Royals after Supreme Court held Raj guilty of placing bets on IPL games, Shilpa engaged herself in other business ventures of her husband. She also laid the foundation of her own film production company and produced a film titled ‘Dishkiyaoon’ (2014), which unfortunately did not work at the box office.
Shilpa Shetty also co-owns the Indian chain of spas and salon called Iosis. She launched her fitness Yoga DVD in 2015, which received overwhelming response. Besides managing all her business ventures, Shilpa is now more active on television. She has judged numerous shows on television, the most recent one being the dance reality show Super Dancer on Sony Entertainment channel. So, apart from being an actress, she is a businesswoman, producer, model and television host.
8) SUNIEL SHETTY
Actor Suniel Shetty, who earlier spelt his name as Suneel Shetty, is an action star. Majority of films he has done in his movie career, like ‘Dilwale’ (1994), ‘Mohra’ (1994) and ‘Border’ (1997), belong to the action genre. He was one of the most sought after actors in the 90s. Besides being an action star, Suniel Shetty is also a film producer and entrepreneur. We all know that the well-built actor has been a fitness freak since the very beginning of his career in movies. And he also understands that how seriously the youth today takes fitness. So, in a very smart and well calculating move, Suniel first ventured into the business of fitness and opened many gyms across India. Franchises of his gyms can be spotted in many parts of the country.
Suniel Shetty also owns a film production house called Popcorn Entertainment, which has produced a string of films like ‘Khel’ (2003), ‘Rakht’ (2004), ‘Bhagam Bhag’ (2006), ‘Mission Istanbul’ (2008), ‘EMI’ (2008) and ‘Loot’ (2011). If you thought that the list of his business endeavors ends just there, then think again. Sunil is also the owner of Mischief, a series of boutiques spread across the entire length and breadth of Mumbai. Not just that, the actor also runs a several restaurants specializing in Udupi cuisine in the city. He has even ventured into designing and development of luxury real estate projects through his company S2 Reality. Suniel is a television presenter also. He hosted ‘Biggest Loser Jeetega’ on Sahara One. Currently, he is seen hosting ‘India’s Asli Champion Haidam’ on &TV.
7) TWINKLE KHANNA
Wife of superstar Akshay Kumar, Twinkle Khanna may not have played a very long and successful inning in films, but she is a star in her own ways. If her husband makes multi-crores through films and advertisements, Mrs. Kumar runs a candle business with her mother Dimple Kapadia and makes a lot of money. For your kind information, this is not a small candle business. Their candle company does not operate in Indian markets only, but their candles are exported in many other countries also.
After marrying Akshay in 2001, Twinkle did not pay much attention to her film career. She almost put it on the backburner and busied herself in the married life. When she did not appear in films and media for a long time post her marriage with the action star, everyone almost wrote her off. But Twinkle surprised everyone when she made a comeback, though in a totally different way. Instead of going back to films, Twinkle Khanna started a candle company and followed it up with an interior designing firm called ‘The White Window’ in Mumbai. Within a very short span of time, both her business ventures flourished leaps and bounds and the actress was back in the reckoning once again.
Apart from being a well-known interior designer and candle maker, Twinkle Khanna is also a noted newspaper columnist. Her columns appear in reputed newspapers like DNA and The Times of India. She is an author also. Her debut novel ‘Mrs Funnybones’ came out in August 2015 sold more than 1 Lacs copies across the world, making Twinkle India’s highest-selling female writer of 2015. Twinkle wrote her second book titled ‘The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad’ which debuted at No 2 on Amazon. Twinkle Khanna is also a film producer and has produced almost six films under Grazing Goat Pictures. She has recently set up her separate production house. ‘Padman’ starring her husband Akshay Kumar, will be her first film as an independent film producer.
6) AJAY DEVGAN
I am very sure that you would have not guessed superstar Ajay Devgn’s name on this list! Widely popular as one of the most popular Bollywood actors, Ajay is a hit machine. Over the years, he has established himself as a versatile actor, who can go to any length to deliver perfection. The intense-looking actor can do action. He can do comedy. He can romance like a prince. What else one needs to be a successful hero in the Hindi film industry? Ajay has a huge fan following, which has been only increasing by leaps and bounds over the years! His fan following ensures that all the films featuring him as the leading man become massive blockbusters at the ticket window, thus making profits in millions. And where does this profit go? Well, a certain percent of this profit goes to the actor’s account. Gone are the days when actors used to charge a nominal fee as their remuneration for working in a film. Today, they take a lion’s share in the profits along with their fees.
Ajay Devgn has very wisely invested a certain percent of his money in a number of ventures. The actor is a part investor in the Charanaka solar project in Gujarat. Ajay along with the Roha Group invested multi-crores in the 25 MW plant. Set up in a record period of just eight months, the plant is functional from December 31, 2011. In addition to that, Ajay also owns a production house called Ajay Devgn Films. Established in the year of 2000, its maiden venture was ‘Raju Chacha’ (2000) featuring Mr. Devgn and his wife Kajol. The film was an average grosser at the box office. The production house laid low until Ajay decided to turn director with the film ‘U Me Aur Hum’ in 2008. Ajay did not only co-produced and directed the film, he also acted in it with Kajol. Ajay also owns a VFX Studio.
5) SUSHMITA SEN
Sushmita Sen is a woman who has inspired millions of other women to follow their dreams. She clenched Miss Universe title at the young age of 19, making India proud at international level. Sen had started taking up modeling assignments even before winning the Miss Universe crown. After she bagged the title in 1994, like most of beauty pageant winners, Sushmita too decided to try her luck in films. In 1996, she made her acting debut with the Hindi film, ‘Dastak’, which was directed by Mahesh Bhatt and featured Mukul Dev and Sharad Kapoor as leading men. ‘Dastak’ turned out to be an unsuccessful film at the box office. Sushmita then starred in the Tamil musical ‘Ratchagan’ opposite Nagarjuna. The film released in 1997 and was a blockbuster.
Though her first two Hindi films ‘Dastak’ and ‘Zor’ did not work at the box office, filmmakers were still keen on working with her. Sushmita achieved critical and commercial success in Bollywood with movies like ‘Sirf Tum’ (1999, ‘Biwi No. 1’ (1999), ‘Aankhen’ (2002), ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004) and ‘Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. The audience received her well in films, but some wrong choices proved detrimental to her career and Sushmita decided to focus on some other options to earn her bread and butter.
The Bengali beauty is an efficient businesswoman now, along with being a great actor and single mom to two daughters. She has set up a production company which goes by the name of Tantra Entertainment. Sushmita, who was last seen in a Bengali drama film titled ‘Nirbaak’ in 2015, owns a jewelry retail store in Dubai, which is managed by her mother. The actress also has plans to open a chain of hotels and spas under her company Sensazione. Sushmita was also heading the Miss Universe franchise ‘I Am She’ which was recently taken over by Femina.
4) JOHN ABRAHAM
With his killer looks, chiseled body and excellent acting chops, John Abraham has been a force to reckon with ever since he began his career in the world of modeling and then ventured into films with the super successful erotic thriller ‘Jism’ (2003). The film, which featured his then girlfriend Bipasha Basu, brought him a lot of awards and accolades. Before John Abraham came and surprised everyone with his first film, there was a myth in the industry that models cannot act. But John proved everyone wrong. After ‘Jism’, John went on to work is a number of critically and commercially successful ventures like ‘Dhoom’ (2004), ‘Water’ (2005), ‘Kaal’ (2005), ‘Garam Masala’ (2005), ‘Zinda’ (2006), ‘Babul’ (2006), ‘Taxi No. 9211’ (2006), ‘Dostana’ (2008), ‘New York’ (2009), ‘Force’ (2011), ‘Desi Boyz’ (2011), ‘Housefull 2’ (2012), ‘Race 2’ (2013), ‘Shootout at Wadala’ (2013), ‘Madras Café’ (2013), ‘Welcome Back’ (2015), ‘Dishoom’ (2016), and ‘Force 2’ (2016).
After working in a number of commercially successful films, John decided to turn producer and laid the foundation of his production house JA Entertainment. The first film made under the banner was the groundbreaking film ‘Vicky Donor’ (2012), starring Ayushman Khurrana and Yami Gautam. The movie walked away with a National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. John also received the Creative Entrepreneur of the Year title at the seventh edition of NDTV Profit’s Business Leadership Awards. His other films as a producer also received rave reviews and success at the ticket window. Apart from films and bikes, John is also a fitness freak. If reports are to be believed, the actor is now all set to join forces with British boxing legend David Haye to set up a fitness franchise that will focus on the art of boxing.
3) KARISHMA KAPOOR
Karisma Kapoor was one of the leading and highest paid actresses in the 90s. Every director and actor wanted to work with her as her presence in a film would ensure sure shot success at the ticket window. ‘Jigar’ (1992) ‘Anari’ (1993), ‘Raja Babu’ (1994), ‘Collie No. 1’ (1995), ‘Sajan Chale Sasural’ (1996), ‘Hero No. 1’ (1997), ‘Judwaa’ (1997), ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ (1997), ‘Biwi No. 1’ (1999), ‘Hum Saath-Saath Hain’ (1999) and ‘Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge’ (2000) are some of the most successful films of her career, which strengthened her position in the Hindi film industry. The actress got her first Filmfare trophy for Best Actress for her all-time blockbuster film ‘Raja Hindustani’ (1997), where she was paired opposite Aamir Khan. For her performance in Yash Chopra’s ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, she received her first National Award for Best Actress in a Supporting role.
When Karisma was at peak of her career, she decided to get married. On 29th September, 2003, Karisma married businessman Sanjay Kapur and, breaking hearts of millions of her fans, quit films. But soon the news of their marriage hitting the headline more often than not. Meanwhile, Karisma gave birth to two kids. She also tried to make a comeback to films with the 2012 supernatural thriller ‘Dangerous Ishqq’, but luck did not favor her much as the film bombed at the box office. After living away from her husband for many years, the actress finally separated from him in 2016. Having had two kids to look after, Karisma started her own venture. The actress runs a well-known e-commerce portal that sells baby and mother care products. She has recently invested in the venture.
Arjun Rampal was a top model before he forayed into films with not so successful film ‘Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat’ in 2001. He then went on to do a number of romantic films like ‘Deewaanapan’ (2001), ‘Dil Hai Tumhaara’ (2002), ‘Aankhen’ (2002), ‘Dil Ka Rishta’ (2003) and ‘Vaada’ (2005), but none of them could do much for his career. His breakthrough performance came in 2006 when he did ‘Don’ with Shah Rukh Khan. His next movie ‘The last Lear’ (2007) was not a box office success, but it did bring him a lot of accolades from film reviewers. The very same year release ‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007) where he played a negative character. The audience and critics appreciated his performance in the movie alike. Since then he has appeared in a number of films like Rock On!! (2008), ‘Housefull’ (2010) ‘Inkaar’ (2013) and ‘Roy’ (2015), ‘D-Day’ (2013) and ‘Chakravyuh’ (2012).
The model-turned-actor has always garnered female attention but his films always failed to garner critics’ attention. He has done a number of films in his career, some of them turned out to be blockbusters also, but they were all multi-starrer. You must we wondering how the actor earns his bread and butter if he films flop left, right and center at the box office. Well, let us tell you. Like most of successful and unsuccessful actors in Bollywood, Arjun Rampal, too, makes handsome amount of money through his side business. LAP is his very own lounge-bar-restaurant in Delhi. Spread over 17,000 sq. ft., the sprawling lounge-bar-restaurant boasts of creamy crowd. LAP is designed with furniture planned by none other than Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan, designers Tarun Tahiliani and Rohit Bal. He also runs an event management firm called Chasing Ganesha. So, next time you wonder how the actor maintains his hi-fi lifestyle, you don’t have to rack your mind.
1) LARA DUTTA
Lara Dutta needs no introduction! The former beauty queen made the whole India proud by winning Miss Universe title in 2000, thus becoming the second Indian girl to achieve the feat after the very gorgeous Sushmita Sen. Before clenching the Miss Universe title in 2000, she was also a winner of Miss Intercontinental and Gladrags Megamodel India in 1997. Lara started her movie career with another beauty queen Priyanka Chopra and superstar Akshay Kumar in the film ‘Andaaz’ which released in 2003. The film was a box office success and Lara walked away with the Filmfare Best Female Debut trophy along with Priyanka Chopra. She was flooded with several movie offers post the stupendous success of her debut film. ‘Masti’ (2004), ‘Kaal’ (2005), ‘No Entry’ (2005), ‘Bhagam Bhag’ (2006), ‘Partner’ (2007), ‘Housefull’ (2010) and ‘Don 2’ (2011) are some of the most successful films Lara has done during her active days in the field of acting.
After her marriage with Mahesh Bhupati, which was soon followed by motherhood, Lara took a break from films. As an actress, she is not that much active in films anymore. She was last seen in ‘Singh Is Bliing’ with her friend and actor Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson. The film was released in 2015 and was an average grosser at the ticket window. But if you thought that the actress has completely distanced herself from films, then let me tell you that, that is not the case. Actually, Lara Dutta has added another feather to her cap by turning a film producer. She set up her own production company called Bheegi Basanti, in the year 2011 and produced a film called ‘Chalo Dilli’, featuring Vinay Pathak and herself. It was an average grosser at the ticket window. She has also launched her sari collection in collaboration with Chabbra 555. She also has a fitness DVD to her credit. These are enough sources to make a hell lot of money.
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