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Three Actors And Their Successful Plan B If the basic strategy of staying financially safe is 'not to put all eggs in one basket', these three actors – Simple Kaul, Aashka Goradia and Shaad Randhawa – are killing it with their successful business ventures and how. Here we take a look…

By Arundhuti Banerjee

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Whether you are a Bollywood actor with a successful career or have a decade long secure journey as an actor in the television industry, the young India is becoming a hub of entrepreneursand a dreamland for the investors. While staying focus on one career to achieve excellence is great, having an alternative source of income with wise investment is always a good idea.

Keeping the same thought in mind, Bollywood actor ShaadRandhawa, and two celebrated names from the television industry – Simple Kaul and Aashka Girodia – shared success stories of their business venture and the importance of having a plan B.

Why a plan B

Acting is one of the professions that are filled with a lot of financial ups and downs and more than often the success of an actor is connected to the fate of a project. So, without a systematic investment and alternate source of income, it's hard to survive for an artist.

Highlighting the point, Aashka Goradia, known for - KyunkiSaas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Laagi Tujhse Lagan, Naagin, Naagin2, said, "an actor's life is filled with financial up and down because all the work that an actor has is contractual, I repeat it's extremely important to make wise investments that has very fruitful returns. There are also other opportunities to ensure that their investment bring them returns to be used at the time when they are not self-employed."

Simple Kaul, known for shows like Wali Thakur Gurls, TaarakMehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, Jugni Chali Jalandhar and SaasBina Sasural among others, told Entrepreneur India, "It is always good to have a plan B to fall back on, so that eventually as an artist one can choose the right kind of acting project. Unless the money is coming from a different business, one has to act in shows and films due to the pressure of earning money. An artist cannot grow without choosing the right project and feel financially secure."

Seconding her point, Bollywood actor Shaad Randhawa who is known for being part of some of the most successful films like Who Lamhe, Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain said, "I know many of my actor friends who believe that there should not be any plan B and as an artist one should just focus on acting. But I believe that keeping the unpredictable nature of acting business in mind; one should always have a plan B."

" As an actor, a lot of things are not in your hand and your success heavily depends on multiple things. It also gives an actor the confidence to work on project of their choice instead of pushing themselves to work on something just to survive financially," he added.

How it all started…

While being an actor Aashka always had a love for cosmetic, Shaad has always been a foodie and Simple who started 1BHK along with two of her actor friends, looked for an eatery that caters to the crowd of all age group under one roof.

Sharing the inception of Bayroute, Shaad mentioned, "I am a foodie and a traveler too. I observed that even though people love eating middle-eastern food in Dubai and other places abroad, they do not get such authentic food here. So I thought of creating a space for Middle Eastern cuisine here in Mumbai."

After an extensive market research and team building, he opened his first, one of the rare authentic middle-eastern cuisine restaurants named Bayroute in Cuffe Parade, located in south Mumbai in 2018.

Simple one the other hand, turned a Goan house structure into their restaurant 1BHK located in Oshiwara. She shared, "The idea was to share a meal, with your loved-one, listen to the live music, dancing under the open sky and take part in fun activities. There are very few places in Mumbai where the live music is played every evening and people of all age group coming to dance! This is like an open house and everyone is having great time while celebrating life over food, music, conversation in a family environment!"

"We cater to youngsters with our European food menu and we offer special region food like – Goan and Parsi cuisine, few popular North Indian dishes and specially designed thalis for our family consumers," she further added.

Sharing her thought behind starting her cosmetic brand Renee Cosmetics, Aashka said, "After having used beauty products for over two decades, I understood what it does to an individual's life. I understand how this can become a part of your celebration and confidence. Knowing the e-commerce market was growing, a new business and innovation had opportunity to reach consumers way faster than before. I thought it was the right time to start something of my own."

Beginning of a journey and the set back due to COVID19

As any entrepreneurial venture involves risk taking factor, Shaad, Aashka and Simple also took some calculative risks and gradually expanded their venture, after surviving a huge set back of global pandemic.

Shaad said, "My initial investment was around Rs 3.5 crorewhen we started in 2018 and then we have expanded into five branches. We faced more difficult time during the pandemicbecause by 2019, we invested in four outlets. And then from March 2020, everything was stopped. We had our outlets in some of the most expensive real estate areas like Juhu, Powai, Cuffe Parade. So the rents were also very high! No business was coming our way. Only we know how we survived."

Being the business owner, he along with his entire team struggled to survive through the pandemic.

Simple added, "We saw so many newly opened cafes closed down during that time and could not bounce back. We had to put our own money to sustain and I would say we are few lucky people who managed to survive that dark phase and now we are back in business. But of course the food business was oddly affected by the global pandemic."

Aashka on the other hand, had a different way of surviving the situation. She mentioned, "We started the business and we ran into a pandemic so to sit over stocks for some time, allowed us to either be fearful or go out and innovate." And therefore, she along with two of her investors who happened to be her school friends too - Ashutosh Sani and Priyank Shah - invested a sizeable amount for the color cosmetics business. Aashka then proudly said, "And three of us chose to innovate and be ready for the post pandemic shift in consumer demands. We are very proud to say today that Renee Cosmetics has become one of the fastest growing makeup brands of the country."

Future looks bright…

Aashka, once ruled the television industry not only being part of successful TV series but also participating in TV reality shows like Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4, Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 4 is completely focusing on growing her business Renee Cosmetics without diverting her mind in any other acting projects, Simple wants to expand their 1BHK in different parts of the city Mumbai.

"Our vision for 1BHK is to expand it by opening more outlets and conducting more creative events, reading room, writers' space etc. We initially started with one in Oshiwara followed by one in Bangalore. We also started one branch in Vasi," shared Simple.

Shaad also shared his future plan. "Our turnover now is between Rs 40 and 50 crore. But now, we are looking for more investors so that we can start more brunches in cities like Delhi and Bangalore."

Arundhuti Banerjee

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