Business Today

Shah Rukh Khan

Be it hollering his lungs out to cheer the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), his Indian Premier League (IPL) team, or playing the funky quiz master on television for the Indian version of Are you smarter than a fifth grader?, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan seems to be pressing the right buttons to ensure maximum recall for brand SRK.

     Print Edition: May 18, 2008

Be it hollering his lungs out to cheer the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), his Indian Premier League (IPL) team, or playing the funky quiz master on television for the Indian version of Are you smarter than a fifth grader?, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan seems to be pressing the right buttons to ensure maximum recall for brand SRK.

No kidding: SRK’s got the business smarts
SRK’s got the business smarts
His sports venture has already earned the backing of six corporate sponsors—more than any other team in the IPL. Of course, the absence of any corporate brand name behind KKR makes it all the more attractive for brands wishing to associate with the team. Then again, brands that he already endorses, such as Nokia and Tag Heuer, are piggybacking on their association with him to sponsor his cricket team.

The conclusion: the superstar is also a canny businessman. Says Jeet Bannerjee, CEO, KKR, of his boss: “He’s extremely clued in to the world of sports, especially cricket, and knows a good deal when sees one.” It’s probably his smart business sense, which made him sign up for the quiz show, Kya Aap Panchvi Pass se Tez Hain? where adults are grilled on knowledge generally acquired up to fifth grade. True, his first foray as quiz master—as host of Kaun Banega Crorepati—was only a qualified success, but to be fair, he was stepping in to replace another icon, Amitabh Bachchan. This time though, with kids as his allies, he might fare better as a television host.

Critics of SRK say his forays into sports and television are probably a recognition by the actor himself that his acting prowess may not bring in the moolah too much longer—so better to make hay till the star is shining. But then, that too is the sign of an astute man.

Tejeesh N.S. Behl

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