“Ammi jaan kehti thi, koi dhandha chota nahi hota, aur dhandhe se bada koi dharam nahi hota”, this dialogue of Shah Rukh Khan from his recent movie, Raees, is a good reflection of the alter-ego of the superstar, which not everyone is aware of. The King of Bollywood, as he is rightly called for ruling Indian cinema for over two decades, is a consummate businessman. Apart from being widely regarded as one of the biggest movie-stars on the planet, he has established himself as professional possessing acute business acumen. How, you ask?
It’s a well-known fact that when Khan arrived in Mumbai to pursue a career in the film industry, he barely had anything in terms of money or property. Today, his net worth is about $750 million. There’s hardly any surprise in the fact that such kind of rags to riches journey is not the result of just acting in films. Being amongst the wealthiest actors in the world can’t be attributed only to gaining popularity as a film-star. There’s another empire he’s built apart from the more conspicuous one related to films. So, what do MBA aspirants can learn from Shah Rukh Khan, the businessman?
The most important lesson that can be learnt is - having a management degree is not explicitly needed for being successful in the business world. You just need to have the conviction. According to him, following your passion is the key to succeed in any kind of business. In an interview with Business Standard in 2013, Khan stressed on intending to grow his film production and distribution company, Red Chillies Entertainment, as it provided him with an opportunity to explore the option of making those movies which aren’t usually backed by producers.
Diversification and making the right kind of investments are the other factors that have catapulted Khan’s name beyond films and into business. He has left no stone unturned in making the most of his earnings from brand endorsements and movies. He owns Red Chillies Entertainment and a post-production and visual effects unit, VFX. He is one of the owners of the Indian Premier League franchise(IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders. Khan has also made investments in the Indian franchise of KidZania, a Mexican chain of family entertainment centres and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel franchise in the Caribbean Premier League.
Adapting to changing trends in the industry is the hallmark of great businessmen, and Khan has displayed this quality with perfection. Disruptors like Netflix are changing the way cinema is viewed in our times. The number of critically acclaimed shows being streamed on Netflix is increasing by the day. Grabbing the opportunity, Khan, as the owner of Red Chillies Entertainment, has collaborated with Netflix, wherein the streaming giant has been given access to stream all of Red Chillies’ past as well as upcoming films. Also, he recently revealed that his team is working on creating original content for the platform.
“If you are ready to walk away from the most lucrative deal, not because of money, but because it doesn’t feel right, you will be the greatest businessman on earth”, said Khan in an interview with Hindustan Times, after his IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders, won the IPL for a second time in 2014. Management aspirants, which of the books in your curriculum give you that kind of a learning?