Acting is their passion, but the profession doesn’t guarantee long-term stability. So a bevy of actors, including Ronit Roy, Hiten Tejwani and Rakshanda Khan, have ventured into alternate businesses to have a secure future.
Hiten, who rose to fame as Karan in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, owns a restaurant named Barcode O53 and says acting cannot guarantee a lifelong source of income.
“My idea of opening a restaurant was important. The whole point is that I couldn’t have been totally dependent on acting for my income…even though I want to remain in the field of entertainment forever,” Hiten said.
“It’s great to have something to fall back on. I don’t come from a business family; so I thought of starting something so that my kids have some backing in future,” he added.
Hiten is not the only one! Kushal Punjabi owns nightclub Ye ‘ole Watering Hole in the entertainment capital, while Mohit Mallik is the owner of a chain of restaurants along with a health store.
Pawan Shankar, currently seen as a man who is having an extramarital affair in “Kyaa Hua Tera Vaada, runs a company that organises lifestyle exhibitions across the country. And the actor admits his business helps him choose good work on screen.
Pawan said: “I have my company — Fashionista. I started it in 2008 and all my free time goes into building the company. By god’s grace money has never been an issue. We organise lifestyle and fashion exhibitions across the country where designers showcase their creativity.
“It is true that actors don’t have any sustainability. I am glad that my business gives me the leeway to choose the kind of roles that I am comfortable doing,” he added.
Apart from being an actor, Anuj Saxena, a qualified doctor, is juggling many roles and responsibilities. He is a producer, a restaurateur and the managing director of pharmaceutical company Elder Health Care Ltd.
Actor-brothers Ronit and Rohit Roy have their own businesses. While Ronit runs Ace Security and Protection that provides personal security to top Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, his sibling Rohit has launched a film and TV production company.
Other actors who have their own production houses are Chetan Hansraj and Sumeet Raghavan.
Karan Kundra, who rose to fame with Kitni Mohabbat Hai, has established a call centre in Jalandhar, while Shaleen Bhanot has Graphic Machinery Company, which concentrates on exporting machinery all over India.
Sachin Shroff runs a business that supplies construction steel.
If male actors are happily focussing on their acting as well as business, women are not far behind.
Actresses Rakshanda Khan and Pooja Ghai have their own event management firms, while Riva Bubber has a dog grooming salon. Rupali Ganguly runs an advertising agency.
Sara Khan, Achint Kaur and Sanjeeda Sheikh have their own beauty salons.
Rashmi Desai along with husband Nandish Sandhu are also set to launch a production house.
But actor Arjun Bijlani feels that business cannot be a backup plan for his passion, which is acting. He owns a wine shop in Mumbai.
“For me, business is not a backup plan. Sachin Tendulkar is a cricket player and that’s his passion. But he also has a restaurant… I don’t think it is his backup plan,” said the actor seen in Miley Jab Hum Tum and Left Right Left.
“Likewise, there are many people into acting, but side by side they’ve started their business. I have my own business, I’ve a wine shop in Andheri and acting is my passion. I want to grow as an actor,” he added.