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How does business savvy Shah Rukh Khan make his millions?

·4 min read

All the side hustles of India’s number one movie star

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan in a still from Dilwale (Photograph: Red Chilli Entertainment)

He’s perhaps India’s most recognisable movie star and the poster boy of rags-to-riches in Bollywood. In an industry notorious for nepotism, Shah Rukh Khan not just managed to break into the business but also emerge on top. He’s won far too many awards to count, he’s acted in several landmark movies, and became so successful that he could afford a sea-facing bungalow no less, an achievement probably no other outsider to the industry can boast of.

So how does Shah Rukh Khan make his millions?

His acting career contributes a large part to Shah Rukh Khan’s earnings. It is interesting to note that Shah Rukh Khan hasn’t acted in a movie since his last film Zero in 2018. However he has a few movies lined up and has chosen to stay away from the camera for a few years. Shah Rukh Khan doesn’t just charge a flat fee for his acting jobs, he also commands a share of the profits from a movie. Sometimes this chunk contributes a significant amount if the film does exceptionally well. If he’s producing the movies, which he tends to do, Shah Rukh Khan walks home with a particularly large sum no matter the fate of the film at the box office.

Even though he hasn’t appeared on a TV show for a few years now, Shah Rukh Khan has made considerable amount of his wealth by hosting several TV shows – from Kaun Banega Crorepati (Season 3), and Kya Aap Panchvi Pass se Tez Hai? To Zor ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout. For each of these shows, he would charge a fee that would run into a few crore per episode. To be sure these are all shows from another lifetime so if you inflation-adjust the fees, it stacks up to a considerable amount.

One of the most endearing aspects about Shah Rukh Khan is his self-deprecating personality. Despite being a superstar, Shah Rukh Khan has never been shy of laughing at himself. In several of his interviews, Shah Rukh has been quite candid about his wedding performances. Weddings in India are a big deal and it isn’t unusual for the super exclusive weddings to have movie stars performing to their hit songs. In fact, Shah Rukh Khan is known to have started the trend of performing at weddings. At one point it wasn’t considered a respectable thing for a movie star of that stature to be performing at weddings. However, Shah Rukh saw the opportunity and took it. He is said to charge anywhere between Rs 4 crore and Rs 8 crore for a single performance and acknowledges it for what it is: easy money he’d rather not give up.

He is also known to be tech-forward. At a time when the Internet was still a shiny new toy in India, Shah Rukh Khan had not just launched his website but also offered it as a platform to movie stars wanting to use it to promote themselves and their work. This was long before social media was even heard of. Shah Rukh’s was designed to host chats, photo galleries, and serve as a homepage not just for Shah Rukh Khan but also other movie stars. The project never really took off mostly because it was way too ahead of its time. His other projects, however have been quite successful: SFX for instance. Red Chillies’ VFX studio is arguably one of the best in the country and is used by some of the best filmmakers not just from India but also overseas. That part of his business is said to bring Shah Rukh Khan an annual turnover of Rs 500 crore or thereabouts according to The Economic Times.

Besides all of this, Shah Rukh Khan also owns 26 per cent in ImagiNation Edutainment India Pvt Ltd. This is the holding company for KidZania. He also runs Kolkata Knight Riders, a profitable IPL franchise which also contributes considerably to his wealth.

Ultimately no one knows how much the Shah Rukh Khan name is worth more than Shah Rukh Khan himself. The movie star has put his weight behind some of the biggest brands in the country. Besides the regular fee that he charges to brands just so they can use his name and face, Shah Rukh also bills at Rs 3-4 crore per day for an ad shoot.

All of these things add up to a considerable amount to Shah Rukh Khan’s wealth.

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