Call it a business calling or a security blanket in the fickle, competitive television market, the small-screen stars’ Plan B
is growing and how
Several small screen folks pursue alternate vocations far removed from acting. Here is a look at some of the telly folk and their endeavours:
Arjun Punj and Gurdeep Kohli
Shows: Arjun: Har Yug Me Aayega Ek Arjun, Gurdeep: Best of Luck Nikki
Alternate profession: The couple owns a pub called 30 ml located at Infinity Mall 2 in Goregoan in Mumbai
Business talk: Arjun says, “I always wanted to start a pub. We only serve finger foods and cocktails/mocktails. To give it undivided attention, I took a break from acting when it launched. I am diverting my attention back to acting, as we are managing the business well.”
The actor factor: “In the beginning, I would be present at the pub all day and people would come in to pose for pictures or take autographs. This helped draw in the crowds and helped my business grow,” says Arjun.
As an entrepreneur: “We are completely involved in it as one cannot depend on managers. The TV industry has become competitive and one should have an alternate income as a security blanket,” he says.
Shows: Uttaran and Phir Subah Hogi
Alternate profession: Gulp Coast, a juice bar at Oshiwara
Business talk: “I have a diploma in hotel management and was keen to open my own restaurant, but I got busy with modelling and acting assignments. Six months ago, when my brother suggested opening a juice bar, I was game. We serve vegetable and fruit juices with natural ingredients as well as protein shakes and milkshakes which are made from fresh seasonal fruits and not syrups. This concept is popular in the UK and Malaysia, but not so much in India. The initial three to four months were slow, but now it’s picking up steadily,” says Nandish.
The actor factor: Friends from the industry have helped in promoting it through word of mouth.
As an entrepreneur: “My brother is handling the show and I help in making business strategies. There are plans of starting eating joints and franchisees in the coming days. Personally, I feel that every actor should have an alternate profession for a steady income. They won’t have to compromise on quality roles,” he says.
Shows: Mamta, Saat Phere
Alternate profession: Nutritionist
Business talk: “As an actor, it is imperative to look fit. So, I started working out and the major transformation in my physique got everyone talking. When people started asking me for tips on workouts and nutrition, I considered it as a career option. So, I enrolled for a course in nutrition. The diploma and my experience has helped immensely. Since a year and a half, I am busy with as many as 20-25 clients. Most of them are friends from the industry such as Varun Badola,” he says.
Actor factor: There are both pros and cons to being an actor. Many people come to me as I am a known face, but there are others who take actors for granted.
As an entrepreneur: I have plans such as writing a book on health and opening an outlet where healthy, yet tasty, food is served for people on the go.
Shows: Bharat Ka Veer Putra Maharana Pratap
Alternate Profession: Beverage outlet Isayice in Oshiwara
Business talk: “I was keen on starting a traditional eatery business which could be carried out with minimal wastage. It was a good idea to serve the traditional golas that are hygienically made and have homemade flavours without any artificial taste to it,” says Aashka.
The actor factor: “Being an actor, my venture got the initial media coverage. But after that, people have come to our beverage outlet purely on the basis of its merit. There are plans to open more outlets in Maharashtra and Gujarat,” she says.
As an entrepreneur: “Every profession has risks. One should make provisions to fall back on. It may not be possible to ensure steady flow of work in television, but the returns are high and actors should invest wisely while the going is good,” she says.
Mazhar Sayyed and Munisha Khatwani
Shows: Mazhar: Encounter, Munisha: Survivor India
Alternate profession: An event management company called Gyan production
Business talk: Mazhar says, “As Munisha has good PR skills, I suggested we open an event management company. We cover all kinds of events — weddings, films and television show launches.”
Actor factor: Munisha says, “My personal rapport with stars makes it easy for me to get them for events which helps clients get media coverage.”
As an entrepreneur: “The shelf life of an actor is limited. It’s essential to have an alternate profession when the roles start drying up,” the actress explains.
Shows: Baal Veer
Alternate profession: Owns women’s wear fashion label, Saisha.
Business talk: “I was at a point where I was bored of acting. I believe in having something to fall back on instead of waiting for the right roles to come by. Since I was good at styling, I decided to venture into my own fashion line. Today, my clothes are exported to Saudi Arabia and Oman,” says Shama.
Actor factor: “Being a known face, helps to make a foray. My acting stint helped as my dressing and fashion tips were taken seriously,” she says.
As an entrepreneur: “I have launched a production house too and will announce a project soon,” she adds.
And some more...
>> VJ Rannvijay Singh deals in customised bikes
>> Yash Gera is a DJ by profession
>> Manish Nagdev runs a concept restaurant
>> Kushal Punjabi runs a restaurant
>> Ronit Roy owns a security agency
>> Aly Merchant owns a salon