For someone who pursued badminton very seriously—even making it to the national level—Deepika Padukone's decision to look at modelling as a career option was made when she was only 16. A successful stint here inevitably led her to the film industry, a path many models have taken in the past. Incidentally, badminton (the love for the game is natural given she is the daughter of Prakash Padukone, one of India's finest badminton players ever) was what she practised regularly as a child, but the fascination for the limelight was what changed the trajectory. And she has never looked back. From the time her debut film, Om Shanti Om, was released in 2007, she set the cash registers ringing. That success led to a successful career in the Hindi film industry apart from endorsing some of the biggest brands—Asian Paints, Levi's, Spotify and a deal with Adidas to be its global brand ambassador.
The other side to Padukone is her astute business sense. She runs her own family office, KA Enterprises, which has invested in a bunch of start-ups across sectors. These include Epigamia (FMCG), FrontRow (edtech), BluSmart (electric taxis), Super Tails (for pets) and Bellatrix Aerospace (space tech). Padukone's experience of a professional actor has seen her create KA Productions. Chhapaak was her first project, which hit the screens last January; 83 is scheduled for release this Christmas. The latter, based on India winning the cricket World Cup in 1983, will see her husband, Ranveer Singh, essaying the role of Kapil Dev.
It's not just a story of business for Padukone; she has also promoted the Live Love Laugh Foundation to increase awareness on mental health. Having candidly spoken on her travails with depression and how she overcame it, this is an initiative borne by personal experience. For this multi-faceted and talented individual, there is never a dull day in the office.
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