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Salman Khan convicted: Can 'Brand Salman' survive the jail term?

With four movies in the pipeline, Bollywood is looking at losses of around Rs 1000 crore.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 6, 2018  | 18:20 IST
Salman Khan convicted: Can 'Brand Salman' survive the jail term?

In a career that's spanned almost 30 years, Salman Khan, the poster boy of controversies, has only reached greater heights. Neither is the blackbuck poaching case his only brush with the law nor is it his first conviction. Yet somehow, Salman Khan as a brand is one that only keeps on giving. Even his movies invariably enter the much-coveted Rs 200 crore club. Khan who was expected to get bail today would be spending another night at the Jodhpur jail as the plea hearing has been deferred till tomorrow. Salman Khan was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday and his legal team would now be looking at challenging the verdict at a higher court. Although this gives the star another chance to wriggle out of the sentence, it still raises the question - what would happen to brand Salman Khan ultimately?

To begin with, Bollywood is looking at losses to the tune of Rs 1000 crore. Salman Khan is currently part of four movies - Race 3, Bharat, Dabangg 3 and Kick 2. According to trade analysts as well, since the average collection of his movies are Rs 250 crore, Bollywood is looking at losses of Rs 1000 crore. The fate of these movies is tied with how the rest of the case pans out. Furthermore, last year Forbes ranked Salman Khan as the ninth highest-paid actor in the world. The only other Indian who surpassed him was Shah Rukh Khan.

Along with movies, Khan was also scheduled to shoot for Sony Pictures Networks India's Dus Ka Dum in May and June. Filming of the show that's scheduled to make a comeback after 9 years has not even started.

Not only Bollywood, even stocks associated with brand Salman Khan has taken a dip. Relaxo Footwear, whose Bahamas collection of footwear is promoted by Salman Khan has been trading lower by 2.65%. Moreover, Mandhana Retail Ventures that manufactures and sells the actor's Being Human brand of apparel has also been trading lower at the BSE.

To add to that, Salman Khan is the ambassador of around 10 brands, including Relaxo Footwear, Being Human, Appy Fizz and Emami. "However, since knowledge of the blackbuck case is public for around two decades, the impact on Salman or the brands endorsed by him may not be that severe. Having said that, Brand Salman is likely to experience a negative impact in the short term especially if the conviction does not get a stay in the High Court," said Varun Gupta, MD and India Leader, Valuation Advisory at Duff & Phelps.

A report by Duff & Phelps mentioned that Khan's brand value declined by around 33% in 2017 because of a revision of his endorsement fees, which is unusual for a star of his stature.

With younger and fitter stars bagging one endorsement after another, Khan who has always been embroiled in a controversy or the other has had to lighten his kitty. Nevertheless, if brand Salman Khan has not taken a beating because of all the controversies and court cases is there any reason to believe it will now?

If media footages from the two days at Jodhpur are anything to go by, Salman Khan's fans still worship him with the passion of a thousand suns.

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