Shah Rukh Khan has always been known for his sharp business acumen. After a production house and a cricket team, SRK will now be seen promoting a new business venture, that of a theme park for children. An excerpt from an interview:
How did this theme park come about?
I have children and unfortunately I can’t go out too often in Mumbai or for that matter even in India. I was in Dubai a few years ago, when my wife had plans to go out with her gang and she asked me to drop my daughter (Suhana) off at this place. It was inside a mall, which belongs to my friend Mohammed. My daughter spent some eight hours there. For the next three days she was only talking about it and how beautiful it was.
It’s not the first business venture you’ve come up with. What do you consider beforehand?
I always do things keeping three things in mind. First is entertainment, which I also do for a living, secondly I am a firm believer of education and I think that has held me in good stead. I come from a very poor family and I think I have overcome poverty because of education. Thirdly, I love children. Even when I was in Delhi doing theatre, I did everything towards entertaining kids. In fact, I always tell all my actress-friends that I will take care of their children. I had taken many kids to the IPL matches and ladaai bhi hui thi wahah. The kids, on the other hand, treat me as an equal.
You recently said that no one listens to you at home. Is that true?
I normally ask my kids before making a big decision, which includes films as well. In fact, my son saw Jab Tak Hai Jaan and said it is a Shah Rukh Khan feel-good kind of a film. Even the cricket team (KKR) was because of my kids. In fact, half-way through when people thought that I would sell the team, my son came and told me ‘Papa, we’re not selling it and we have to win’. I am glad I will make kids smile with this one.
With your acting commitments, who keeps track of your business and finance?
I don’t have any business advisors as such. I don’t invest big money anywhere. I have Karuna Badwal (manager) and Karim Morani and I have Rajaramji who is my old accountant. I never discuss money or the business aspect and I don’t get in to it. Jai Mehta takes the cricket decisions for me and I only bring belief to the table. I live hand-to-mouth and I love it that way. I guess that is why I am the King and I don’t get into the nonsense of savings, money, etc.