Amitabh Bachchan, also known as the ‘Superstar of the Millennium’, turned 80 on Tuesday. Bachchan’s life story is one of continuous reinvention and disruptions. While the actor was a superstar in his heydays, he had his share of challenges when he tried his hands at business with Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) in 1996. ABCL worked in areas like event management, film production and distribution.
HDFC Bank Corporate Communications Vice President Ravindran S said in a recent LinkedIn post that Bachchan made his debut with the 1969 action film Saat Hindustani and went onto become “a one-man industry for much of the eighties” before announcing his retirement in 1992. Bachchan’s retirement announcement came after a not-so-successful political career with the Samajwadi Party and was followed by a tougher innings as a businessman with ABCL.
After ABCL became bankrupt, Bachchan was offered a chance to host Kaun Banega Crorepati somewhere around 2000 and the rest is history. Ravindran furthermore elaborated on how Bachchan utilised a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to offer entertainment with edutainment in India through KBC, which went on to become synonymous with the Sholay actor’s name and baritone.
He wrote, “It would have been easy to sink into despair. But when KBC came along he seized it with both hands. Mind you that kind of particular genre of entertainment and edutainment was unknown in India. Nevertheless, he seized his chance. And built on its success by adding variety to his roles and working with directors young enough to be children. Today he comes across as a lovable family head full of energy in KBC.”
“To sum it up, it is this energy that can serve as an inspiration for all of us as we go about our lives. We have often heard ‘Age is just a number’. If you want proof look at Mr Amitabh Bachchan,” Ravindran said while signing off.
While the vision was to establish a Rs 1,000 crore company aimed at bringing about corporate efficiency to a disorganised film industry, ABCL was responsible for bringing the Miss World pageant to India for the first time in 1996. The venue of the pageant had to be shifted from Bengaluru (then Bangalore) to Seychelles amid massive protests.
ABCL went deep in the red as the company logged losses worth over Rs 70.82 crore against a net worth of around Rs 60.52 crore. Due to this, the ABCL approached the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in 1999. The situation was so bad that the Bachchan family was on the verge of losing their abode Pratiksha located in Juhu.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today