Shah Rukh Khan, Suniel Shetty And More: What We Learnt From These Actor Entrepreneurs in 2023 Whether it is snippets from their childhood, recent incidents or their deeply personal business journeys, this is what we came to know about these celebrities.

By Kabir Singh Bhandari

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Shah Rukh Khan in a still from Dunki

Shah Rukh Khan gave us the action packed Pathaan and Jawaan this year, with Dunki coming up. Suniel Shetty is recognized as the most savvy actor entrepreneur. Shilpa Shetty Kundra can easily be crowned D2C queen. Increasingly, we are seeing more and more actors getting involved heavily in entrepreneurship, whether it is by starting their own companies, becoming brand ambassadors or doing investments. But what are some interesting facets of their journey that we came to know about?

Whether it is snippets from their childhood, recent incidents or their deeply personal business journeys, this is what we came to know about these celebrities:

1. "It's kind of funny, that when the founders Shreya Chadalavada and Jahnavi Reddy came to me with the idea, I really resonated with it. I say funny because I'm not a mother and I don't have too many kids around, as in from my friend circle. In the process of talking with them I realized that each baby requires about 5000 diapers which they use till the age of two or three. These diapers are non- biodegradable, which means it would take about 500 years for each of them to be absorbed into the land. If we add the figures, it means that each child contributes to about 900 kg of landfill that is non-biodegradable": Rakul Preet Singh (Talking about NewBoo, a range of biodegradable and re-usable diapers for new-borns)

2. "Everything that any other boy in the restaurant did, I had to go through. Whether it was in the kitchen, managing the floor, helping to clean the place or seeing the customers off. I would take all the brick bats that were thrown at me when a customer was drunk and didn't like something and take every shot on me when it came to the food not being right. So I think everything that that a young man needs to go through in the food and beverage industry my father made me experience:"

Even if the customer would abuse him then to take that since eventually it would settle.

"The next day the same customer would come back and tell me how sorry he was and that I had handled the situation so well and introduce me to his family and friends. That's how our customer base grew as they spoke well about us. Our model wasn't to advertise since our numbers weren't large enough that people would drive from far away areas to come to the restaurant. The captive audience was in my area itself and we had to hold on to them. I learned amazing lessons from this trade:" Suniel Shetty (on working in restaurants from the age of 16).

3. "Honestly it wasn't a contrived step, it was a gradual transition from just being a brand endorser to believing in the brand so much as to invest. I guess when you are invested you tend to put in a bit more , which works for the brand and for you in the long run. My investments are also not based on how much money or profit margins I can earn, but mainly about what is the ethos of the brand, what it aims to deliver in the long run, what change / help that product brings in a consumer's life and why would the product be on the top of everyone's wish list and shelves too. My investments are about values and vision. Speaking of entrepreneurship, there is always a different joy in seeing your visions turn into reality The Simple Soulful App, from its inception, has grown exponentially. I have seen so many lives changing via the app and it motivates me to do better and navigate more ways to make changes. I am an epicurean and the ability to satiate people's tastebuds through Bastian (restaurant) is an incredible feeling. Entrepreneurship came from a place of passion": Shilpa Shetty Kundra (On being an entrepreneur).

4. "My bond with make-up is unique because it is how I have discovered how to love myself, how to enhance what I have and work it through the days when I don't feel as good. So I understand the relevance make up has in my life and the lives of so many other women. So when this opportunity came by it meant much more to me than just a commercial association also because I wanted to be involved in a brand which caters to Indian people and is designed keeping Indian skin types in mind and also the weather conditions": Tamannaah Bhatia (On her association with SUGAR Cosmetics).

5. "We are an equal opportunity league, with categories for men, women and in the differently abled category. Participants are farmers, students, businessmen, women police cops, government officers, gym trainers- people from all walks of life. It's a very technical game which has strategy and brain work involved, people think it's only about strength": Parvin Dabas (Talking about the Pro Panja League).

6. "My last film had not worked, and people were saying that now my films would not do well, so I started to think about alternate businesses. I started to learn cooking, especially Italian, so that I could start a restaurant called Red Chillies Food Eatery (after Red Chillies, his production company). Pathaan's director, Siddharth Anand loves eating food and I would make food and take it to the set daily, and he especially liked the pizzas I made": Shah Rukh Khan.

The author can be reached at bkabir@entrepreneurindia.com and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari

Kabir Singh Bhandari

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