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Vying for a safety net

Bollywood actors of late are looking for vocations apart from acting to satiate their creative urges, reports Nilufer Qureshi.
Hindustan Times | By Nilufer Qureshi, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2007 12:10 PM IST

Less than a month ago, he took off his shirt to wear another. Once identified as the ‘brand ambassador’ for Provogue, Fardeen Khan has launched his own fashion label — Mystique Monk.

This is in partnership with his brother-in-law Rohit Rajpal. Unlike most business ventures which are launched in the eye of the media, the Mystique Monk male clothes line first made its appeance just a forthnight ago with a soft launch in a Delhi mall.

Practically every fashion-conscious star dreams of having his own designer label.. but few actually get down to the nitty gritty of setting up the business.

For instance, Sushmita Sen has periodically announced that she will soon launch a prêt-a-porter brand under her signature.. and at one time, had even planned to start an upscale lounge called Karma in New York.

Currently, the talk is that the Sush-line could make its appearance within the next six months if not earlier.. and a restaurant could get going in Kolkata.

Malaika Arora-Khan plans to start a children’s clothing label.

Creative itch
Most film stars state that they if they do something besides acting, it would have to be something “creative” or an extension of their personalities. Others simply state that they are ill-equipped to do anything else besides work and business related to cinema.

Of late Saif Ali Khan is headed towards film production,with a company in partnership with his Being Cyrus director Homi Adajania.

Anil Kapoor is about to release his first film as a full-fledged producer with Gandhi My Father. Ajay Devgan has been directing a film for his own production banner.

Salman Khan’s brother, Sohail Khan, is into film production too. Aamir Khan has his own production house. And of course, Shah Rukh Khan has several plans up his sleeve for the expansion of his production house—Red Chillies —which includes the setting up a special effects studio.

Vis-a-vis businesses, not related to films, there has been Suniel Shetty who started off with the Mischief fashion house, then the Mischief restaurant chain.. and is today involved with the Salt Water Grill restaurant at Chowpatty. His family business was restaurants which he has upgraded.

Shetty is interested in other businesses—like cinema exhibition, events and celebrity management and entertainment parks.

Of late, talk is that he wants to step up the film production rate at his company Popcorn Entertainment.

Quite a foodie
Bobby Deol’s Some Place Else restaurant on the sixthfloor of the Fun Republic complex in Oshiwara, is in partnership with Sunil Hingorani, husband of yesteryear’s actress Anita Raaj.

Serving Indian and Chinese cuisine, the restaurant also has a banquet hall given out for receptions and parties. Bobby’s wife Tania has her own furniture line.

John Abraham has his event management company. At one time, he had stated that he was interested in starting a print publication. Dino Morea, in partnership with his brothers, runs Crepe Station at Carter Road and Juhu. He is believed to have a sharp business acumen and has been wanting to start his own film production house.

Chhota parda
There aren’t many role models from yesteryear’s-stars-turned-business-lords—except for Jeetendra who encouraged both his wife and daughter to get into TV software production when it was in its incipient stage. Jeetendra dabbled majorly in the stock market too.

Besides Ektaa and Shobha Kapoor, Aroona Irani, Smriti Z Iraani and Himesh Reshammiya (in his kick-off years) have made their impact felt in TV software production.

Neetu Kapoor has tried out occasional business ventures like importing fine-dine vegetables. She also had a clothing line in partnership with Rita Rawail.

Dimple Kapadia came to be identifiedwith exclusive candles. Today, daughter Twinkle Khanna is a highly regarded name for her skills in interior décor and her store White Windows. Waheeda Rehman once had a breakfast cereal base in Bangalore but gave it up after she moved to Mumbai from the Garden City.

Speaking of gardens, Nana Patekar reportedly has a flower business – the phools reaching the Mumbai markets from Pune. If I get a chance to do something, it would be a resort somewhere in Goa.

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